A POLITICAL row has broken out over proposals to link Whitby with Elton in a new Cheshire West and Chester Council ward.
The move, voted through by the ruling Tory majority on the borough council, is part of council proposals to the Boundary Committee for new wards.
The number of borough councillors is to increase from 72 to 75 in 2011 when voting arrangements based on 24 former County Council divisions will be scrapped.
The Tories have put forward proposals for 30 wards, half of which would have two councillors and half would have three councillors.
The Elton and Whitby ward, if accepted, is expected to have 9,592 electors by 2013.
Represented by three councillors, it would include an estimated 4,630 voters in Whitby, 850 in Groves, 832 in Pooltown and 2,550 in Elton.
Labour leader Cllr Derek Bateman described the proposed Elton and Whitby ward as ‘a travesty’.
He said: “There is no community of interest between Elton and Whitby.”
Chair of Labour’s local government committee David Robinson added: “Whitby is very much part of the Ellesmere Port area with its own distinct characteristics. Elton is a large stand alone village several miles away with its own services, character and needs.
Cllr Justin Madders, (Lab, Central and Westminster) said: “The council seem to think that Elton and Whitby is one linked community and should be in one ward and that Little Neston should not be considered part of the rest of Neston and instead is linked in with Willaston and Hooton.”
Council leader Mike Jones argues the electoral review is trying to achieve fairness.
He said: “The numbers for Elton, on its own, are too small, therefore we need to combine it with other parishes.
“Since Elton is part of the Ellesmere Port and Neston constituency it seems sensible to combine with some of the outer areas of Ellesmere Port.
“They have a great deal in common with employees of the major industries living in these areas and adjacent to the countryside, they will have common challenges to face in the future”.
Cllr Gareth Anderson (Con, Ledsham and Willaston) suggested the proposals “to some extent reflect our communities and provide efficient local government.”