New South Kesteven District Council boundaries come under fire

Coun Jeff Thompson.
Coun Jeff Thompson.
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A founder member of South Kesteven District Council is concerned the ward boundary changes will affect the efficiency of local government.

Independent Coun Jeff Thompson has been a district councillor since 1971, orginally with West Kesteven Rural Council, and has always lived in Great Gonerby within his ward of Peascliffe.

Coun Thompson said: “Now the Boundary Commission in their ultimate wisdom, despite protestations from the parish council and South Kesteven District Council, decided that it would make sense to make the ward larger to also include Ancaster, Sudbrook, Normanton, Honington, Carlton Scroop, Barkston, Syston, Belton and Manthorpe.

“Local governance needs to be precisely what it says. Governance involving local personalities with local knowledge on local issues. I was born in Great Gonerby and my family have been there since 1560. People are asking me how much I know about Ancaster, and I have to admit not much at the moment.”

The boundary changes to wards across South Kesteven have led to a reduction from 58 to 56 SKDC district councillors to be elected this May.

“We needed changes but the Boundary Commission’s are the strangest. With few councillors going I can’t see costs being reduced, I can only see efficiency being reduced. I just don’t think we will be able to provide the same sort of service that we have hitherto,” added Coun Thompson.

Conservative Coun Pam Bosworth, who has representented Barrowby for 22 years, said: “ It has made it complicated - this ward now covers the constituencies of two MPs.”

While seeing Harrowby lose one of its three seats, Coun Bruce Wells highlighted the extensive consultation process, and said: “When they came last year the Boundary Commision listened to everybody’s point of view.”

For more details on the changes, including a map, go to tinyurl.com/qh9pbuo