Rasens and Caistor to face electoral boundary shake–up

CHANGES to electoral boundaries will leave the area with fewer councillors.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England wants to merge the Caistor and Yarborough wards to form a single two-seat ward – at the moment Caistor has two seats and Yarborough has one.

Under the proposals Middle Rasen would become part of a new three-member Market Rasen ward. Middle Rasen is now a separate ward with one councillor and Market Rasen has two seats.

The recommendations announced this week are part of a boundary commission review of electoral arrangements for West Lindsey District Council.

The changes would come into force at the next local elections for West Lindsey in 2015, should they be approved by Parliament.

A spokesman for the boundary commission said it believed the new Market Rasen ward would have a clear focus, with the town acting act as a focal point and offering services such as shops and a railway station for people living in the area.

Middle Rasen councillor Geoff Wiseman said: “I’m 100 per cent happy with the changes but it makes sense – Walesby Road is in my ward and I have to drive through Market Rasen to get there.

“If I decide to stand for election in 2015 I will continue to represent the people of Middle Rasen in the Market Rasen ward.”

Yarborough councillor Owen Bierley said: “It’s disappointing – my ward has existed since the council was first set up in 1973 and has had a succession of really excellent and able members.

“There is so much talk of localism at the moment so it seems strange to move away from that in Yarborough.”

The commission did a 12-week public consultation on its draft proposals and drew new boundaries for every ward in the borough.

Under the new system West Lindsey Council would lose one councillor taking the total down to 36.

The commission’s final report has six three-member wards, four two-member and 10 single-member wards for the district.

Local Government Boundary Commission for England chairman Max Caller said: “We’re extremely grateful to the people of West Lindsey who took the time and effort to send us their views. The commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.

“The recommendations for West Lindsey will deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections where the value of your vote is similar regardless of where you live in the district. We have also tried to ensure that the new electoral arrangements reflect, as far as possible, the identities and interests of local communities across West Lindsey.”

The proposals will go before Parliament in later this month and should be completed early next year.