Fens ‘no’ to joining Rossmere shake-up

A RESIDENTS’ group is urging boundary officials to rethink plans to include their neighbourhood in a new ‘super-ward’.

Fens Residents’ Association is against proposals to combine the Fens with parts of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Rossmere ward to create a large new South Ward.

It is the suggestion of the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England which is reviewing Hartlepool’s 17 wards.

People are being asked for their view’s on plans to reduce the number of councillors from 47 to 33 representing 11 wards.

Fens Residents’ Association has sent its response suggesting the town should have 16 wards based largely on current boundaries, with two councillors per ward.

But the association has welcomed plans to remove the South Fens area from Greatham Ward and to include it with the rest of the Fens estate.

It also agrees with plans to transfer the I block from the Fens to the Owton ward.

Michael Ward, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “Rossmere and Fens each have their own distinct communities with their own identities.

“The new ward would be a prime example of unmatched communities and irrational boundaries and in common with the other 10 proposed new wards, far too large in terms of electors for good quality representation by councillors.”

The association says the reduction to 16 wards could be achieved by removing South Fens from Greatham ward and the village joining with Elwick ward.

It adds that with 32 councillors, the average electorate for each ward would be 2,230 and says having two councillors for smaller wards would lead to greater democracy and accountability.

Mr Ward added: “Fens Residents’ Association urges the Boundary Commission to seriously consider our proposals which we believe are the best way to reflect community interest and identity, accountability and efficient and cost effective local government.”

The public consultation closes on June 20.