Boundary Commission reacts to disquiet over proposed changes for Soham Fordham and Littleport as consultation re-opened

East Cambridgeshire District Council

East Cambridgeshire District Council - Credit: Archant

An 11th hour decision to review the county council boundaries in East Cambridgeshire was prompted by the backlash over changes in Soham, Fordham and Littleport.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is now giving local people another chance to have their say on county division boundaries across Cambridgeshire.

The original submission attracted 38 comments, many objecting to the allocation of councillors for the proposed Fordham Villages and Soham South, Littleport East and Soham North and Littleport west divisions.

The commission says they received alternative proposals which were for eight and nine single-member divisions – the commission based its proposals on eight county councillors.

“We were not persuaded that sufficient evidence had been received at that time to justify changing the allocation of councillors to the district,” says the commission.

However they accepted the proposals created divisions “with poor internal access between communities”.

The commission says “we are open for to modifying our recommendations should we receive persuasive evidence to do so.”

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The Fordham villages and Soham South division (two members) comprises Burwell, Chippenham, Fordham, Isleham, Kennett, reach, Snailwell, Swaffham Bulbeck, Swaffham Prior and Wicken parishes. It also comprises the southern part of Soham.

Littleport East and Soham North comprise the eastern part of Littleport, the eastern part of Ely, and northern part of Soham.

A six-week consultation on the commission’s new recommendations starts closes on June 20.

The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on the names and boundaries of electoral divisions represented by all Cambridgeshire’s county councillors.

The commission’s recommendations are that Cambridgeshire should be represented by 61 county councillors, eight fewer than the current arrangements. The proposals also set out the names and boundaries of the 51 single-member divisions and five two-member divisions to be represented by county councillors.

The commission published the final recommendations of its electoral review of Cambridgeshire County Council in February. It has decided to hold a new phase of consultation after receiving local representations from residents and local organisations which argued that they had not had the chance to comment on all aspects of the recommendations.