Electoral changes for Holbeach are a ‘demolition’, claims councillor

ELECTORAL MAP: South Holland District Council deputy leader Cllr Nick Worth has branded plans to redraw his Holbeach county council ward a "demolition".  Photo by Tim Wilson.
ELECTORAL MAP: South Holland District Council deputy leader Cllr Nick Worth has branded plans to redraw his Holbeach county council ward a "demolition". Photo by Tim Wilson.

Plans which could see parts of the Holbeach area joined with Moulton Seas End in a new electoral division have been branded a “demolition”.

The outcry from Holbeach county councillor Nick Worth is a response to a review of electoral areas in Lincolnshire before elections next year.

Plans by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), an independent body which looks at electoral arrangements for councils at all levels in England, were made public last month and people have until February 8 to give their views.

Under the plans, Holbeach Bank, Holbeach Clough, Holbeach St Marks and Holbeach St Matthew would all be taken out of the Holbeach county council division to form part of a new Moulton Seas End division.

Cllr Worth said: “The whole thing is based on a premise that every councillor should have an equal number of electors.

“In Holbeach, which currently includes Holbeach Bank, Holbeach Clough, Holbeach St Marks and Holbeach St Matthew, the LGBCE would put them in a new division called Moulton Seas End and become part of Moulton, Moulton Seas End, Saracen’s Head and quite a bit of Spalding.

I feel part of Holbeach and I don’t think it would be good for the area to be represented by someone in Spalding

Cllr Nick Worth, Lincolnshire County Council member for Holbeach

“The big issue for me is that Holbeach St Marks and Holbeach St Matthew have always been part of Holbeach parish and this would effectively demolish that.

“As South Holland District Council member for Holbeach St Marks, I feel part of Holbeach and I don’t think it would be good for the area to be represented by someone in Spalding.”

In its electoral review report published in December, the LGBCE said the number of county council divisions in South Holland should stay at nine as part of a smaller Lincolnshire County Council made up of 70 members instead of the current 77.

But Spalding would see its four divisions, Spalding East and Moulton, Spalding Elloe, Spalding South and Spalding West, cut to just two (Spalding Central and Spalding Elloe), while Crowland and Whaplode would be split - the latter becoming part of Holbeach division.

Max Caller CBE, chairman of the LGBCE, said: “Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters (so) that each county councillor represents a similar number of electors and everyone’s vote in county council elections is worth roughly the same, regardless of where you live.

“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of communities across Lincolnshire and that the pattern of divisions can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.”

Time to have your say on draft boundary proposals in Lincolnshire