Ward borders under review

MP Steve Barclay (right) and Joanna Melton meet with Boundary Commission officials.
MP Steve Barclay (right) and Joanna Melton meet with Boundary Commission officials.

A review of voting wards is under-way in Chatteris in a bid to solve issues caused by proposed boundary changes which could mean voters going to two different polling stations next time they vote in local elections.

Town council clerk Joanna Melton and local MP Steve Barclay, who aired concerns over proposed changes to the district council ward boundaries at meeting with the Boundary Commission in the House of Commons in the summer, have welcomed the move.

The proposed changes would see the creation of three small parish wards for town council elections. The aim of changing the district ward boundaries was to even out the number of electors represented by each councillor. But the proposals meant that councillors in the three new parish wards would represent only 100 voters each, while other town councillors would have wards of up to 2,000.

The changes would have also meant voters having to go to separate polling stations to vote for the town and district councils on the same day.

At the time Mrs Melton was concerned people would not bother to go to the different polling stations and that as few as 30 people would be voting for a councillor in the newly created small parish wards.

Mr Barclay said: “Following our meeting, the Boundary Commission have now reconsidered and have decided that Fenland District Council can carry out a Community Governance Review to look at the warding issues in Chatteris ahead of the 2015 elections. FDC have agreed to start the process for such a review in January.

“There is no guarantee that the wards will change but the town council are hopeful they will, and this announcement is a step in the right direction.”