Town could lose two county seats

PUBLISHED: 09:21 25 May 2015

Exmouth's county  election map?

Exmouth's county election map?


Exmouth's influence on county bosses could be blunted under plans to redraw the electoral map.

The Boundary Commission for England wants to slash the number of Devon’s county councillors from 62 to 60 by ‘merging’ council seats.

The commission says it will make elections fairer, and councillors would represent similar numbers of people, no matter where people lived.

Both seats facing the chop are in Exmouth.

Currently, there are three Exmouth county councillors, one for each area.

UKIP councillor John Hone represents Withycombe and Brixington, Lib Dem Eileen Wragg for the town centre and Littleham, and Conservative Bernard Hughes for Exmouth Halsdon and Woodbury.

Christine Channon represents Budleigh and the Otter Valley.

Boundary bosses want to delete Councillor Wragg’s ward; the Littleham part would merge with a new ‘Budleigh Salterton Coastal’ ward, despite the two areas being under the jurisdiction of two separate town councils.

The town part would merge with the wards of Councillor Hone and Councillor Hughes.

This would create an ‘Exmouth’ ward, with two councillors, to include Woodbury and Lympstone.

Max Caller CBE, chairman of the commission, said: “Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each county councillor represents a similar number of electors so that everyone’s vote in county council elections is worth roughly the same.”

The public consultation ends July 8.

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