East Cambs councillor accuses colleagues of ‘dumping on’ Fenland by sacrificing Roman Bank to Norfolk instead of Littleport

PUBLISHED: 16:35 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 01 December 2017

Littleport could end up leaving Cambs and joining new Parliamentary constituency of Downham Market and Thetford. East Cambs Council wants to stop it.

Littleport could end up leaving Cambs and joining new Parliamentary constituency of Downham Market and Thetford. East Cambs Council wants to stop it.

Archant

An East Cambs councillor suggested her own local authority might be viewed as trying to ‘dump on’ neighbouring Fenland by suggesting Roman Bank should be moved into a Norfolk Parliamentary constituency.

Lib Dem Councillor Lorna Dupre made her remark during a special meeting of East Cambs Council that voted to press the Boundary Commission to keep Littleport in NE Cambs and to recommend Roman Bank be switched to a Norfolk constituency.

The Boundary Commission needs to make changes following the decision to remove one of the Parliamentary seats in East Anglia.

Cllr Dupre said that the commission’s view was that Littleport was the most appropriate area to be included with Norfolk to solve that issue.

Littleport had good rail links and other transport services with Kings Lynn and people also looked to Kings Lynn for health services and other facilities.

She reminded colleagues that the commission had rejected a council response previously, as it believed it would have caused unnecessary disruption to the constituencies.

This time the alternative suggestion was not quite as bad, but the justification for it did not add up, said Cllr Dupre.

“It was true that it sorted out the Littleport problem but only by dumping on an area in Fenland, which was suggested be moved into the new Norfolk constituency,” she said.

“The efforts made were utterly pointless anyway, as Members of Parliament would not vote for the alternative and no changes would be seen until after the next General Election.”

However the council agreed to recommend that Littleport is not placed in the new South West Norfolk constituency.

Councillor Anna Bailey felt it important Littleport remained in NE Cambs.

Councillor Bill Hunt said the suggestion that Roman Bank should be included with the Norfolk constituency was a better idea as those areas tended to look to Kings Lynn for services already.

“Littleport belonged to Cambridgeshire,” he said and whatever the council could do to ensure it remained so should be done.

Councillor David Ambrose Smith reiterated that day-to-day life within Littleport related to Ely and Cambridge and not Norfolk, which had no part in the residents’ daily lives.

On a recorded vote there were 24 in favour of keeping Littleport in NE Cambs; two Lib Dems, including Cllr Dupre, abstained.

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