Morecambe and Heysham will suffer under proposed changes to local government boundaries, claims our town council.
The council is expected to lodge objections to the plans and want as many members of the public to follow suit before the closing date of Monday, March 18.
Currently Morecambe is split into six wards on Lancaster City Council – Bare, Harbour, Heysham North, Poulton, Torrisholme and Westgate.
Proposals are for 12 wards in future: Bare North, Bare South East, Bare South West, Out Moss Lane, Lowlands Road, Lune Drive, Harbour, Heysham North, Heysham Central, Poulton, Torrisholme and Westgate.
There would still be 26 city councillors covering Morecambe.
But the town council says the plans are “unfair” as there would be fewer councillors per head of population in the town’s urban area compared to the Lancaster urban area.
“The Town Council believes that across the political spectrum there is agreement that the proposals are wholly inappropriate and even morally wrong,” said a spokesman for the council.
“The Council Tax payers of Morecambe and Heysham would be clearly under represented compared to Lancaster.
“The extension of Skerton into Torrisholme and the parish of Heaton with Oxcliffe will be seen by residents as wholly unacceptable, as these areas have regarded themselves as part of Morecambe for many decades.
“Skerton wards rate highly on national ward deprivation levels with commensurate lower property values and higher insurance premiums.
“The alterations to the Bare and Torrisholme boundaries as proposed are both illogical and ill defined.
“The proposed changes to the Poulton and Torrisholme boundaries are a retrograde step, as they would remove from the ward a significant level of mixed good quality residential development.
“This would result in the new Poulton ward being regarded as a more disadvantaged area together with having reduced councillor representation, together with potential reputational decline resulting in similar problems that occur in the West End of Morecambe.”
The town council will have a stall in the Arndale Centre this week to encourage the public to write to the Local Government Boundary Commission (England).
Local people can have their say directly by visiting consultation.lgbce.org.uk.
The full recommendations and detailed maps are also available on the Commission’s main website at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/north- west/lancashire/lancaster-fer.
If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write to them at The Review Officer (Lancaster), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill Street, London EC1M 5LG or email email@example.com, or email your views to the Town Clerk, David Croxall at firstname.lastname@example.org , or write to Morecambe Town Council, Town Hall, Marine Road, Morecambe, LA4 5AF.
Councillors will discuss the plans at a public meeting of Morecambe Town Council at Morecambe Library this Thursday at 7pm.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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