Changes to Sid Valley wards slammed

The final recommendations.

The final recommendations. - Credit: Archant

Final recommendations on how many councillors should be each ward could see some areas left with one representative and others with five.

Councillor, Ian McKenzie-Edwards. Ref shs 9685-10-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Councillor, Ian McKenzie-Edwards. Ref shs 9685-10-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Councillors slammed the proposals put forward as part of the electoral review of East Devon, at the latest town council meeting.

The final recommendations made by The Local Government Boundary Commission for England are now set to be discussed in parliament and signed off, before changes are implemented in the 2019 local elections.

If they are given the go-ahead Sidmouth West will be left with just one ward councillor, instead of three, along with Sidmouth East and Sidbury, which currently have two representatives each.

Sidmouth South will have five town councillors instead of three and Sidmouth North will have four instead on three.

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Primley, which currently has two ward representatives will also be given an extra councillor.

Salcombe Regis and Sidford will remain unchanged as will the total number of town councillors in the area – which is 19.

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Speaking at the meeting, town clerk Chris Holland said the commission only reviewed the town wards because of changes to the district council’s boundaries which saw 1,200 electorates moved from the south ward to the north.

“One person wards are not acceptable, desirable or workable in a parish council,” he added.

Cllr Kelvin Dent said: “We wanted no one-person wards and five members in the south ward is absolutely barking.

“I am hoping very much that our MP will object to this when it is laid before parliament.”

He added the commission had not taken any of the town council’s representations on board.

Chairman Cllr Ian Mckenzie Edwards said: “None of us would say Sidmouth South warrants five councillors.

“It is a great shame that perhaps with a lack of understanding of the Sid Valley that somebody from way outside our area makes these decisions.

“None of us are happy with this situation we really do hope that Hugo Swire can get something out of this.”

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