Controversy over radical changes proposed for electoral boundaries
REVISED plans for new electoral boundaries in Notts have created controversy among voters.
The Boundary Commission for England published initial proposals last year for an overhaul of Parliamentary seats to cut the total number of constituencies from 533 to 502, including radical changes in the county.
After the first of two rounds of consultation, it yesterday published new plans involving changes to the Sherwood, Mansfield and Newark constituencies.
Burton Joyce and Stoke Bardolph, a ward which currently falls within the Gedling constituency, is to be part of Sherwood, together with Lambley, Woodborough, parts of Arnold, Calverton as well as Beckingham, which currently falls under Bassetlaw.
The initial proposals had seen Burton Joyce and Stoke Bardolph joined onto Newark, together with Lowdham, Nevile, Wiverton, Farndon and Southwell East and West.
Mike Storr, of Padleys Lane in Burton Joyce, and co-owner of Dennis Hair Styles salon in Main Street in the village, welcomed the new plans.
"I think we have more in common with the areas in the Sherwood constituency than Newark," he said.
But Brian Alvey, Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for Burton Joyce, described the plans as "awfully confusing".
He said: "It will be baffling for voters to be part of a whole new constituency."
Gedling MP Vernon Coaker said it was unclear which constituency he would stand in, but added: "It has been a huge privilege to represent all the people of Gedling constituency and I hope to continue to hold that privilege in the future."
Deputy leader at Gedling Borough Council, Councillor Michael Payne, said he was "hugely disappointed" at plans to "split Arnold in half".
Under the proposals, parts of Arnold will come under Sherwood, while others will come under Nottingham North and Hucknall, together with Bulwell, Ravenshead, Hucknall and Bestwood Village.
Councillor Payne added: "People living on one side of the High Street will be represented by a different MP to people on the other side.
"I think this shows the commission have not respected the communities' identities."
The initial proposals involved the abolition of Rushcliffe constituency, which includes Cotgrave.
In the shake-up the area would be thrown in with Coalville in Leicestershire, as part of a new Coalville and Keyworth constituency.
These plans have not been changed by the commission, despite strong opposition when they were first announced.
Pam Pickett, a freelance journalist from Cotgrave, said: "I don't want to be grouped in with places like Coalville. That's in Leicestershire. I live in Nottinghamshire. I don't think these changes make any sense."
A spokeswoman for the commission said people were now being encouraged to take part in another consultation and said: "If people are horrified with the proposals, this is the time for them to let us know."
The consultation lasts until December 10 and the commission will make its final recommendation to the Government by October 1 next year.
For more information, go to www.consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk.
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