Published: October 28, 2011
Highbridge councillor's 'disgust' at boundary changes decision

Highbridge councillor Joe Leach has this week said he is "disgusted" that members of a district council committee have decided not to respond to a consultation on parliamentary boundary changes.

Councillor Leach, who also sits on the Licensing and General Purposes Committee, proposed that a response be made to highlight what he claims are "flaws" in the proposals.

The Boundary Commission's plans - outlined here - include moving the town of North Petherton and the Poldons from the Bridgwater Parliamentary Constituency into the Wells Parliamentary Constituency, which includes Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge.

Cllr Leach made the case for such proposals to be reviewed again, telling "These proposals are entirely based on numbers - when they should also be taking into account community cohesion."

"If you ask anyone in North Petherton to whom they could most relate, the answer would not be 'Wells'. It would be Bridgwater or Taunton."

"But when it came to the proposal being seconded, no other councillor would back the proposal, citing that there was 'no point', because the Boundary Commission wouldn't listen."

Joe added: "Councillor Derek Alder counter proposed that the council should not respond and this was supported by a majority of the committee. I am disgusted that the council felt it not appropriate to respond to this consultation."

"Even a simple response of 'we disagree' would be better than to completely ignore the matter. The people of North Petherton have been badly let down - it is our duty to speak on behalf of those who elected us, and by failing to respond to a crucial change in the way people vote is simply outrageous. If they cannot be bothered, they shouldn't be on the council."

The public consultations on the changes opened in September and close on December 5th. Details on how residents can have their say can be found on the Boundary Commission’s website here.


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