Concerns re the Boundary Commission proposals for changes that would significantly affect Ashwell

Please respond to their consultation -deadline Monday 9th January 2023.

The recommendations are that the current one-member councillor ward for Ashwell, under the name ‘Arbury’, would become a ward named ‘Ashwell & Weston’ with three councillors. The new enlarged ward would include Bygrave and Clothall plus new developments in Baldock North, Clothall Common, and to the south of the current Baldock Town ward. Significantly it would mix urban / suburban developments in with rural villages. The character and needs of Ashwell are clearly different from those of smaller villages and those urban needs of Baldock town.

Our district councillor Tom Tyson reported on this at the December Parish Council meeting.

North Herts Council (NHC) is opposed to the new boundary proposals and has published a report that will be presented to their meeting on 19th December.

This report includes –

  • The proposed Ashwell & Weston ward is too large to be effective and convenient, with 11 separate parish areas to represent.
  • The developments outside of Baldock are an extension of the urban area and will be strikingly different in character and demographic from the very rural areas…
  • The proposed large ward would lead to a failure in representation of urban residents, who would be separated from their community in Baldock. It would also fail rural residents as the population of the new ward would be concentrated in the new developments of Baldock…
  • The proposed arrangements are much less satisfactory from a community representation point of view and no better from the perspective of electoral equality. Therefore, the Council considers that the approach proposed previously by the Council should be adopted rather than that recommended by the Commission.

The Parish Council is to agree its response to the consultation at its January meeting, Wednesday 04 at 7pm (sign up on the website to be sent details).

To make your views known -

Details and links are on

https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/have-your-say-new-ward-boundaries-proposed-north-herts-council

[For the full report to the NHC 19 Dec meeting see-

https://democracy.north-herts.gov.uk/documents/g3189/Public%20reports%20pack%2019th-Dec-2022%2019.30%20Council.pdf?T=10

T​he Ashwell section is Appendix A/page 12/item 7]

and the Boundary Commission website

https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/34806

People can also give their views by e-mail at reviews@lgbce.org.uk, and by post:

Review Officer (North Hertfordshire)
LGBCE
PO Box 133
Blyth
NE24 9FE

 


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