I know this is not the kind of issue which is top of mind on the Rose and Crown but the Government’s Boundary Commission proposals for redrawing the boundaries of county council divisions in Hertfordshire and St Albans are potentially very damaging.
The bureaucrats have decided that absolute equality of voter numbers matters more than adherence to historic boundaries. As a result – if the proposals go through - surprised residents of Cunningham Ward south of Mile House Lane will wake up to find themselves in London Colney, some residents of Ragged Hall Lane in Chiswell Green will be even more bemused to find themselves in ‘Harpenden Rural’. Marshal’s Drive and that end of Marshalswick is to be combined with the village of Colney Heath.”
Currently each county council division comprises two St Albans District Council wards which makes it easy for councillors from district and council to work together. Equally council officers know easily who to consult on a local issue without having to look at a map. It has also been a clear and obvious rule that the urban communities of Harpenden and St Albans City have always had clear boundaries, with the villages maintaining their separate identities.
Low voter participation has been a growing challenge in local government elections. New and arbitrary boundaries which don’t match district and parish council boundaries are going to confuse and alienate voters even more. At this stage, the Boundary Commission is only going to be swayed by representations from local residents. The proposals can be inspected at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/hertfordshire/hertfordshire-county-council
I urge local residents to have a look at how their area might be affected, and if they object write to the Boundary Commission before November 3rd.