‘Radical’ Udimore ward plans opposed by parish council

Udimore Community Hall. Photo by Tony Coombes
Udimore Community Hall. Photo by Tony Coombes

Udimore council is urging residents to join its battle against ‘radical’ changes to its electoral ward which it believes would contradict the village’s community links.

Udimore Parish Council is ‘most strongly opposed’ to a proposed alteration to the East Sussex County Council ward the village sits in according to village correspondent Richard Holmes.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England suggested putting Udimore in a North Rother ward, with Robertsbridge, Northiam, Beckley and Peasmarsh.

But the council believes it has closer ties to Brede and wants villagers to write to the commission urging it to reconsider as it is currently consulting on the plans.

“This would cut across many of our present community links, and would be in conflict with one of the commission’s own criteria for establishing boundaries,” said Mr Holmes in a recent contribution to the Observer.

The commission published its draft proposals for the new ESCC and Rother District Council wards in March with the consultation beginning immediately.

The council voted in favour of the suggested Rother ward which would have no great effect on the village other than it losing a councillor. But it disagrees with the ESCC ward proposition.

The county council’s governance committee will discuss its response to the consultation on June 3.

Mr Holmes encouraged residents to make their own responses to the consultation by the closing date of June 16.

A boundary commission spokesman said it has an ‘open mind’ about the proposals for Udimore and it will consider all representations before wards are finalised in October.

“When we draw up new boundaries, we try and balance three things. First we will ensure that each county councillor represents roughly the same number of voters,” the spokesman said.

“We will also try to draw boundaries that maintain community ties and reflect local interests and identities.

“Finally, we want to make sure our proposals promote effective local government for local people.

“Any alternative proposals for boundaries that can deliver those things will be considered seriously by the commission.”

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