Electoral boundaries set to change in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. Photo: Rob Foulkes EMN-150915-141818001
Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. Photo: Rob Foulkes EMN-150915-141818001

A review of county council electoral boundaries will leave Market Deeping almost intact thanks to lobbying by town and district councillors and other local people.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England originally proposed to split the town between two new electoral divisions which have resulted in Market Deeping Town Hall being transferred to Deepings St James electoral division.

Local opposition to this proposal and others across Lincolnshire resulted in a second consultation phase.

The commission is now recommending that the boundary between the town of Market Deeping and the village of Deeping St James be retained.

The new electoral divisions will be called Deepings East and Deepings West and Rural. The Deepings East division will consist of Deeping St James, Langtoft and a small part of Market Deeping which is mainly farmland. Meanwhile, Deepings West and Rural will include the vast majority of Market Deeping as well as West Deeping and other villages as far as Uffington and Baston.

Coun Ashley Baxter, who represents Market and West Deeping ward at South Kesteven District Council, organised some of the local opposition to the boundary commission proposals.

He said: “The boundary commission faces a difficult task in reducing the total number of councillors by 10 per cent. The original proposals would have created confusion among residents and businesses.

“Happily, the commission has listened to local opinion and the final proposals will ensure the Deepings achieve more effective representation with two distinct and understandable geographic electoral wards.”

The 15 month review of electoral boundaries aimed to reduce the number of county councillors from 77 down to 70 by increasing the size of each electoral divisions.

The consultation received responses from individual councillors, political parties, community organisations and members of the public.

Market Deeping Town and Deeping St James Parish Councils submitted very similar responses supporting the retention of the existing boundary between the two settlements.

The Boundary Commission published its final recommendations on Tuesday.

It also amended its proposals in South Kesteven so that the parishes of Thurlby and Toft cum Lound and Manthorpe are both part of a Bourne South and Thurlby division.

It also made amendments elsewhere across the county in response to local feedback.

Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Lincolnshire who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.

“Across the county, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements.

“As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities in Lincolnshire.”

Full details of the final recommendations are available on the commission’s website at http://www.lgbce.org.uk

The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament and it is anticipated the new electoral arrangements will come into force at the county council elections in May 2017.