Plans to change the Budleigh ward border

PUBLISHED: 06:30 12 November 2016

District councillor Alan Dent.

District councillor Alan Dent.

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Otterton could become part of the Budleigh Salterton ward and the Raleigh ward disbanded under boundary change proposals

Currently, the village is part of the Raleigh ward, represented by Councillor Geoff Jung at the district council, which also includes Colaton Raleigh, Bicton and Yettington.

The Budleigh ward includes East Budleigh as well as the town itself and is represented by three district councillors - Alan Dent, Tom Wright and Steve Hall.

The Boundary Commission is currently consulting on plans to redraw the ward boundaries in East Devon.

It is suggested East Devon District Council (EDDC) should have 60 councillors in total, one more than currently. With Cranbrook getting three new district councillors, this means two spaces have to be sacrificed somewhere in the region.

The commission believes each councillor should be responsible for 2,500 voters.

Currently, the Budleigh ward falls short of that number and district councillor Alan Dent has suggested that Otterton could be adopted as part of its ward in an effort to keep three councillors.

Speaking at a town council meeting, he said: “In simple terms, it comes down to two options.

“If we stay as we are, we are going to come below the numbers that the boundary commission is looking for.

“One option is that we leave it as it is and we find ourselves reduced to two councillors.

“The other option is that we accept Otterton, which to us makes a huge amount of sense. They [Otterton] are a natural addition to us.

“At the same time, we would get rid of the Raleigh ward all together. That would also reduce the number of councillors by one more, but it would also push the Budleigh [electorate]numbers up.”

Raleigh ward councillor Geoff Jung believes a better idea would be for Budleigh ward to take on Bicton, which he thinks would make up the necessary numbers.

He said: “According to the numbers I have seen, Budleigh needs only a small number to make up their shortfall and there is already a building proposal accepted in the area.”

The consultation on the proposals is open until Monday, December 5. People can have their say by going to https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk//

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