So a short while ago I blogged the Boundary Commissions proposal to revise the District Council boundary wards so that the centre of Horndean was in Rowlands Castle. While this wouldn’t have changed your postal address, Council tax, or any of the signs in the village, local representation and decision making would have been very different with a good likelihood of the representing Councillors living in either Horndean or Rowlands Castle. This would have resulted in poor decision making for the other village. And it was, to be fair, a very rubbish idea.
As it turns out the Councillors at all three tiers – Parish, District and County – had great concerns about this too.
I also added a poll to the blog giving the opportunity to cast your vote on this – and it turns out the community at large thought it was a pretty daft idea too with, as of the 6th December, 170 voting ‘No’ and 6 voting ‘Yes’. If only the Brexit result were as clear as this…
Over the last few weeks a set of plans showing a revised proposition for the area have been produced for Horndean and Rowlands Castle by local councillors and Peter Sylvester at EHDC (our mapping guru) which we are issuing back to The Commission. To be fair, every proposed ward in EHDC is being challenged as the proposals resulted in hysteria across the District which makes us wonder why the commission even had a stab at it in the first place… God only knows how much it cost for them to do this in the 9,000 Town and Parish Councils in the UK…
Cllr Malcolm Johnson from Rowlands Castle “The revised proposal is a practicable solution to what would otherwise be a difficult situation.”
We felt that there was no local connection or sense of community with Rowlands Castle, and areas like Catherington. Blendworth and Hazleton had very distinct identities and character – we don’t want these being merged into large lumps. We feel that we are better represented with Rowlands Castle remaining a separate ward with one elected Councillor. The Horndean wards would not be merged either but retain their current names and separate identifies as 5 separate wards.
To come up with a firm proposal that would be accepted we have had to forecast the housing numbers to 2023 and come up with balanced wards with a similar electorate in each. This means that some of the ward boundaries have moved so you may have changed from one ward to another which will affect you at the next election as it may change your polling station!
The proposed map for Horndean and Rowlands Castle is below. click to open up, right click to save.:
So, is that that then?
No. The Boundary Commission has the final say and they may accept all or none of the changes. If you have a strong view for, or against the Boundary commission proposal or our response then please email them and let them know.
Getting in touch: You can contact the commission on any of the following:
By Post: The Review Officer (East Hampshire), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London, SW1P 4Q
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Line: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/970
Please don’t forget to state your views are in connection with Horndean, Hampshire and you can copy and paste the map here if you like or simply say if you support the EHDC proposal or not. There isn’t much time left and the cut off for submissions is the 11th December.