Political group’s ideas for redrawing Hartlepool’s council ward boundaries

Councillor John Tennant, of Hartlepool Independent Group
Councillor John Tennant, of Hartlepool Independent Group

Hartlepool’s Independent Group of councillors has made its own submission to electoral boundary chiefs for how the town’s ward map should be drawn.

The political group, made up of former UKIP members and independent councillors, has come up with proposals for a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

Views are being sought by the commission on the future map of Hartlepool with wards roughly equal in voter size and the number of councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council increased from 33 to 36.

Hartlepool Independent Group says it does not believe the council’s submission fairly reflects existing communities.

Its proposals includes a new Hartfields ward taking in a large part of Bishop Cuthbert and the whole of Clavering.

Other new wards it suggests are called Throston and Dyke House, Park, Fens West and Villages, and Jackson.

Councillor John Tennant said: “We have done all we can to make sure all the wards have an easily identifiable connection within their boundaries whilst also keeping within the Boundary Commission’s variable forecast of -10%/+10% [of 6,207 residents per ward].

“This is after we received many representations from community groups unhappy at being cut off from where there has been an established and recognisable community, with particular reference to Fens and Clavering.”

The group says it has done everything it can to avoid established communities losing their uniqueness.

The Mail reported yesterday how the Fens Residents Association is angry at the council’s submission to divide the estate into three different wards. The Independent Group’s submission would see it come under two as it says having it in one ward would result in the projected number of voters being considerably above the 10% variance threshold.

Coun Shane Moore said: “A lot of work has gone into preparing our proposals and while we may not satisfy all communities, we feel our proposal causes minimum disruption, it also keeps communities reasonably intact within a ward boundary.”

Coun Tennant added: “I urge many of those who do not support the Council submission to support ours, it is the Boundary Commission that has the final say and with community groups writing to the Boundary Commission urging their serious consideration of our proposals, there is every chance they may uphold it and keep our communities more intact than the Council submission.”

The consultation ends on Monday. Visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/electoral-review