More than 100 Hartlepool residents and organisations give their views on new town map plans

More than 100 individuals and groups have responded to plans to re-draw the ward map of Hartlepool.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 6:00 am
Hartlepool Civic Centre

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is currently carrying out an electoral review of the town.

The commission says the aim is to create ward boundaries with councillors representing approximately the same number of voters.

Hartlepool's ward boundaries as of September 2018.

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It could mean the creation of an additional ward and introduction of three new councillors to serve on Hartlepool Borough Council.

The council is currently made up of 33 councillors – three for each of the town’s 11 wards.

The commission said: “We also aim to ensure that the ward boundaries reflect the interests and identities of local communities, as well as promoting effective local government.

“To achieve these aims, we need to re-draw ward boundaries across Hartlepool.”

A total of 108 responses have been submitted to the commission during the first consultation period which ran from May 29 to August 12.

They include residents, political groups, residents’ associations and Hartlepool Borough Council itself.

A number of the submissions relate to implications for the Fens estate. In the council’s proposal, it suggests boundaries that would see the estate fall within three different wards.

Putting Hartlepool First political group suggest an alternative Fens and Greatham ward.

One resident said in their response: “Under no circumstances should Fens be split at all.

“It would lose its strong identity and community spirit and needs three councillors dedicated to it and any other areas (perhaps Greatham) which can sensibly be warded with it.”

In other submissions people say they do not believe the council needs any new councillors.

The commission stressed no decisions have yet been made.

A second period of consultation on the commission’s draft recommendations is due to take place between October 2 and December 10.

A spokesman added: “Local people will then have a chance to comment on the recommendations and propose their own changes during a further phase of public consultation.”

Final recommendations are set to be published in February.

In an online poll ran by the Mail at the end of May, more than 540 people (93%) said the town did not need any more councillors.