When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Last ditch bid by MP Richard Drax on Dorset boundary changes
A LAST-MINUTE attempt by MP Richard Drax to argue against boundary changes in Dorset was not enough to stop moves to create a new ‘super ward’.
New electoral arrangements affecting Purbeck will come into effect in 2015 and include some boundary changes which were opposed by residents, the district council and South Dorset MP Mr Drax.
The main fight has been against the creation of a huge new three-councillor ward in Wool, bringing together the wards of Moreton, Affpuddle, Turnerspuddle, East Holme and East Stoke.
It is argued that community identity will be lost in rural areas by carving up the boundaries and forming a new larger ward in a semi-urban area.
Mr Drax said: “The plan cuts across current boundaries, destroys two known wards and creates a large and unwieldy ‘super ward’ that nobody wants.”
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England published its recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Purbeck last October, following a review and public consultation.
Following a House of Commons Statutory Instrument Committee debate which was secured by Mr Drax and chaired by Sir Roger Gale, the proposals were approved and will become law.
Richard Drax presented the case put forward by Purbeck District Council and acknowledged that the Commission had adopted most of the suggestions put forward by the authority.
But he said the whole council was united in objecting to the proposal to add rural wards into the new Wool ward.
Deputy Leader of Purbeck District Council Barry Quinn said: “On behalf of the council and residents, I am extremely frustrated that the views of local people, who obviously know the area, were not taken into account.
“The council is disappointed that the Boundary Commission’s proposal to create a new three-councillor greater Wool ward will come into force in 2015.
“The decision does not take into account the importance of community identity and effective and convenient local government where residents need to know exactly who their councillor is and be able to hold them to account.
“This will be difficult with three councillors representing the five parishes and having to understand all of the concerns of people who live in the ward.”
Coun Quinn added: “Purbeck District expressed its concerns and voiced its objection to the proposal on several occasions and I regret that the opinions of local people, MPs and councillors have not been taken on board.”