Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The fight to save St.Hilda Ward

One of the "issues" that emerged during the local election campaign was the proposed merger of St.Hilda Ward with the existing Stranton Ward to for a new "Heritage" ward. Apparently the existing councillors are very much against it (well John Marshall and Tim Fleming, the independent two anyway) and they, along with Shane Moore, the Conservatibve Candidate in the recent elections are all going to campaign to "Save St.Hilda Ward"

It's a shame the two independents didn't start the fight a little bit earlier. At the Council Meeting of December 16th 2010 the whole council agreed a set or proposals that included the formation of Heritage Ward. Only one of the three ward councillors was present at that meeting. The Labour John Marshall, and he of course voted for the proposal. Shane also needs to check with his Conservative Group Leader, Ray Wells, since all the Conservative Councillors voted with the Labour Group (as indeed the usually seem to do) in favour of the proposals. The Tories even went as far as to send a separate e-mail to the Electoral Commission to stress how fully they supported the plans for Heritage Ward!

Tim Fleming did have his name on a letter from the "Independent Association" but this seems to be mainly a plea to retain Elwick and Greatham as separate "rural" wards. The body you would have expected to be most active in protecting the integrity of St.Hilda Ward is of course the Parish Council. This body has so far made no representations about the proposed changes.

I personally wrote to the Electoral Commission some time ago and the UK Independence Party (Hartlepool Branch) made a formal submission to the Electoral Commission back in August 2010 suggesting the existing ward boundaries be unchanged and simply reduced from three Councillors to two.

I wish the campaign by Tim, John and Shane every success. However I think they have left it a little bit late to start! Still better late than never to jump on the bandwagon!

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