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Consultation opens on Franklin Close boundary quirk

16th June 2011

Consultation opens on Franklin Close boundary quirk

2011-06-16T13:33:00+00:00

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is consulting local residents on plans to re-draw a council boundary that currently divides neighbours in Franklin Close, Colney Heath.

At present, part of Franklin Close is represented by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and part is represented by St Albans City & District Council. The boundary currently cuts through gardens and divides the community.

Chair of the Commission, Max Caller said, “We are proposing to unite the whole of Franklin Close in St Albans and clear up a boundary that no longer reflects the shape of the local community.

“We’ve taken a common sense approach to an issue where the boundary simply hasn’t kept pace with development in the local area. We now want to hear whether the residents affected by the proposed change agree with our recommendation.

“We believe that the current boundary is confusing, it doesn’t promote effective local government and it splits a community. That’s why we’re taking action.”

The Commission is recommending that the boundary between Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council should be moved so that numbers 2-18 Franklin Close (even numbers only) move from Welwyn Hatfield into St Albans. The Commission’s proposal also means that some gardens in Roestock Gardens and Franklin Close will also become part of St Albans. The houses attached to 9-13 Roestock Gardens and 20,22 and 24 are already located in St Albans.

The Commission was approached in December by local MP Grant Shapps who pointed out the apparent boundary anomaly. Subsequently the Commission received a formal request from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and St Albans City and District to conduct a review.

The Commission is consulting local people and interested organisations until 29 July. It aims to make final recommendations for any changes to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in mid-September. The Secretary of State will take the final decision on whether any changes should be implemented, and when.

To view the Commission’s proposal for Franklin Close, you can view the full report and maps at www.lgbce.org.uk

To have your say on the proposal, contact:

The Review Officer (Welwyn Hatfield/St Albans)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
London
EC1M 5LG

Or email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

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Notes to editors:

1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, e.g. defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, and for conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structure.

2. The LGBCE is carrying out a principal area boundary review (PABR) of the boundary between Welwyn Hatfield Borough and St Albans City and District Councils. A PABR is a review of the external boundaries of two or more local authorities to promote convenient and effective local government. Reviews of this kind range from addressing minor boundary anomalies that hinder effective service delivery to whole-council mergers.

3. Further guidance on PABRs is available on the Commission’s website - PABR technical guidance (PDF)