The Boundary Commission have published proposals to change ward boundaries across Havant in 2024 and to reduce the number of Borough Councillors from 38 to 36.
This would affect St Faiths Ward in several ways, the most dramatic of which is removing the whole area of Langstone as far north as the A27 from St Faiths Ward and making it part of an enlarged Hayling West Ward.
Havant Civic Society have created a clever animated map showing the changes, which you can see here.
(If there is a mention of this important matter on the Council’s web-site it is very well hidden.)
We encourage everyone to submit their comments to the Boundary Commission.
It is a simple matter of filling in an on-line form.
Here is the link:
The closing date for submissions is Monday 18th July 2022.
We organised an open public meeting to discuss the proposals, on 14 June. It was well-attended by residents from across the borough, and all the major political parties were represented.
Remarkably, the meeting was completely unanimous in condemning the proposals: not a single person spoke in favour of them.
Following the meeting, an informal cross-party working group has put together a summary of the points made at the meeting, to be distributed widely, as a guide for people when responding to the consultation.
The more people respond making the same points, the more likely is the Boundary Commission to take note of them, so if you agree with the points below please do include them in your submission. Don’t be embarrassed to copy and paste!
Havant Borough Council Proposed Boundary Changes: Cross-party response arising from the public meeting held on 14 June 2022.
Leave things as they are: with the environmental issues facing Havant at the moment, this is not the time to make changes.
Havant needs to draw on its collective experience to deal with issues such as the Havant Thicket Reservoir, the New Lane development and increased traffic as a result of the Solent Free Port development.
The increased needs of the electorate due to ongoing major developments will prevent the reduced number of councillors from effectively representing the people in it.
If change has to happen, with increasing population we need more councillors, not fewer.
Thirteen wards with three members each (i.e. 39 councillors instead of 38) ensures proper representation.
(Is the reduction proposed in order to save on councillor expenses?)
The proposals would mean that the County Council district boundaries will not match ward boundaries.
The proposals change the four existing wards with two councillors each (total eight councillors) to two wards with three councillors each (total six councillors).
Leigh Park is one of the most deprived areas in the Borough and in Hampshire and so the proposal to reduce their representation rather than increase it is an anathema and flies in the face of social justice.
It is particularly noticeable that Leigh Park is the ONLY area in the Borough where it is suggested that representation is decreased.
Leigh Park needs MORE representation, not less.
Battins, Warren Park and Barncroft have a common history and identity, being parts of an estate constructed post-war to house Portsmouth residents displaced by slum clearances.
Though within the Borough of Havant, council tenants in these wards are tenants of Portsmouth City Council.
If boundary changes are felt to be necessary, these three contiguous 2-member wards could easily be made into two 3-member wards.
Bondfields, which lies to the East of the Petersfield Road (B2149), is not historically or culturally part of the Leigh Park estate, having originally been constructed by Havant council to house Havant residents.
The ward includes the community of West Leigh, which is a distinct entity with its own schools, churches, shops and sports clubs and should remain so.
If felt necessary, areas along Bartons Road (Harrison Way, Normandy Way) could be added to this ward, as could the Old Copse Road community to the South of Crossland Drive.
The name changes indicate a lack of sympathy or knowledge of the area and environment.
Hayling, Langstone and St Faiths:
The proposal moves Langstone from St Faiths Ward to Hayling West Ward.
This negates the Electoral Commission’s principle of recognising communities.
Langstone is a distinct community.
People here look towards Havant town centre (St Faiths ward) for its amenities.
Langstone residents rarely cross the bridge to Hayling Island.
The primary issues of concern to Langstone residents tend to be around flood protection, whereas the Hayling Island community’s issues are mostly around tourism and traffic.
There are three legal factors used to draw new boundaries:
New wards should leave each councillor representing roughly the same number of voters.
New wards should – as far as possible – reflect community interests and identities, and boundaries should be identifiable. Consider transport links, community groups and facilities, natural or physical boundaries, parishes and shared interests.
New wards should promote effective and convenient local government. Consider the number of councillors for the geographic size of, and the links between parts of, the ward.
The proposals seem to address the first factor only.
If you have new information on this, or any other local matters, or if you have an opinion you wish to share, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.