Just when they thought new county council boundaries were sorted, Fenland given 11th hour chance to lobby for changes

Council chamber at Shire Hall today

Council chamber at Shire Hall today - Credit: Archant

An 11th hour decision to review the county council boundaries in Fenland was prompted by the backlash over changes in March and some of the villages.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is now giving local people another chance to have their say on county division boundaries across Cambridgeshire.

The original submission attracted 29 comments, many objecting to the allocation of councillors for the proposed two-member March North and Waldersey division.

The commission says they received alternative proposals which were for nine and 10 single-members wards (the proposals thus far are for nine councillors).

Alternative proposals received for Fenland resulted in the creation of a division which comprised Christchurch, Elm, Manea and Wisbech St Mary.

The commission says that when they visited Fenland they noted this division “did not have clear road access between communities and did not reflect local community identities”.

Others complained that it would span a large geographical area.

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The commission says it is prepared to reconsider if sufficient evidence can be presented to justify changes to the original proposals.

A six-week consultation on the commission’s new recommendations starts closes on June 20.

The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on the names and boundaries of electoral divisions represented by all Cambridgeshire’s county councillors.

The commission’s recommendations are that Cambridgeshire should be represented by 61 county councillors, eight fewer than the current arrangements. The proposals also set out the names and boundaries of the 51 single-member divisions and five two-member divisions to be represented by county councillors.

The commission published the final recommendations of its electoral review of Cambridgeshire County Council in February. It has decided to hold a new phase of consultation after receiving local representations from residents and local organisations which argued that they had not had the chance to comment on all aspects of the recommendations.

Under the original proposals March North and Waldersey will comprise the northern part of the town and the parishes of Christchuirch, Elm and part of Wisbech St Mary.

March South and Rural will comprise the southern part of town and the parishes of Manea and Wimblington.

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