Campaign against new council ward changes
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 November 2013
COMMUNITY leaders in Pill and Easton-in-Gordano are campaigning against proposals for new council ward boundaries in the district.
The Local Government Boundary Commission of England (LGBCE) is currently carrying out a review of electoral wards to reduce the number of members on North Somerset Council and ensure each one represents a similar number of voters.
It has already revealed proposals to reduce councillor numbers from 61 to 50 and is now consulting on its plans for what geographical areas these members should represent.
Its recommendations show councillors divided into 20 single-member and 15 two-member wards across the district.
The current set-up sees Pill represented by one councillor and Easton-in-Gordano, along with Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods, represented by another.
However, the LGBCE is proposing grouping Easton-in-Gordano with a much wider area covering the whole of the Gordano Valley, which would include six different parishes.
Members of Pill and Easton-in-Gordano Parish Council fear this will see the ward member become too stretched and unable to properly represent the views of all electors.
In a letter to the LGBCE, parish council chairman Andy Jopp said: “If that councillor is to do a thorough job they will need to attend the parish council meetings of each of these parishes.
“Your proposal appears to pay little regard to the identities and interests of local communities.
“We urge you in the strongest possible terms to ensure the coherence and community spirit of Pill and Easton-in-Gordano are retained.”
The parish council has asked the LGBCE to consider either making a single-member ward covering the Pill and Easton-in-Gordano parish or creating a two-member ward also incorporating Portbury, Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods.
A petition calling for such proposals has also been placed in Pill Resource Centre for residents to sign before being sent to the commission.
Consultation on the ward boundaries will end on November 18 after which the commission will announce its final proposals in February ahead of local elections in 2015.
To see the proposals in full visit the webpage at consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Feedback can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to The Review Officer (North Somerset), LGBCE, Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill Street, London, EC1M 5LG.
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