October 26, 2010
a carve up! Burnham councillors fume over boundary changes
changes to the parish boundaries across the Burnham-On-Sea
area have been attacked by councillors this week.
The sweeping changes, announced by the Local Government
Boundary Commission on Tuesday, will see the Brent Knoll electoral ward carved
up into smaller areas, while the Alstone area of Highbridge will
be removed from the Huntspill ward and added into the Highbridge
and Marine electoral area.
The government hopes the changes will lead to the number of voters
represented by each ward councillor being approximately the same across Sedgemoor.
However, Brent Knoll district councillor Bob Filmer, pictured above, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I am
very disappointed that the Boundary Commission have chosen to
ignore the views of the local representatives and the Parish and
"They have also ignored their own advice to create more
single member wards so that local councillors can be held directly
responsible for their own record. This review has turned out to
be simply a numbers game, with community wishes and identities
thrown out the window."
current ward, Knoll Ward, will be carved up, with part added to
a new Burnham Central Ward, part to a new Highbridge and Marine
Ward and the rest added to the villages of Lympsham, East Brent
and East Huntspill - a proposal that was strongly opposed by all
results with the crazy situation that the area covered by Burnham
Without Parish Council will be split into three wards with two
parish councillors for two wards and three for the other one.
That same area of three wards will also be represented at District
Level by two wards of three councillors and the other one of two.
You couldn't make it up."
There are also changes to the south of Highbridge, where the
Alstone area is being removed from the Huntspill Ward and added
into the Highbridge and Marine Ward, which again was opposed locally.
Highbridge's Cllr Joe Leach told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "What
a complete mess. The Local Government Boundary Commission is just
playing a numbers game, to change the number of councillors, and
hasn't probably considered the impact on our communities. It will create a very interesting election next May."
The proposed changes must now be implemented by Parliament
to come into effect. An Order the legal document which
brings into force the recommendations will be laid in Parliament
in the next few weeks. The draft order allows for the new electoral
arrangements to come into force for the next council elections
in May 2011.
Max Caller, Chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission
for England (LGBCE), said: "Our recommendations determine
how many councillors will serve on the council. They also decide
which wards you vote in. We're grateful to the people across Sedgemoor
who took the time and effort to send us their views because having
fair wards, where each councillor is representing around the same
number of people, is important."
to access all the documents regarding the boundary changes.