The proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission were described as utterly daft by leading Lib Dem Tony Skottowe.
'Looking at all the reports I cannot find any support from local sources for these ideas' said Tony. 'In fact in the agreed proposals put forward by WHBC on the Commission's wish for all wards to have 3 members the report said "It appeared to be more of an administrative exercise with changes making little sense... Officers could not find a solution to accommodate 16 three member wards that was satisfactory in terms of community identity and effective and convenient local government.
'So what have the Commission proposed - Yes, 16 wards with 3 members! On this evidence it seems to me the Boundary Commission has no interest is preserving community identity, reflecting community interests or strong, easily identifiable boundaries, which it is supposed to do. The thing appears to be solely based on the need to balance numbers and with no interest in people', was Tony's reaction.
The proposed changes in Handside are typical with Peel Court, Woodside House, Bridge Road and part of Guessens Road being shifted into Sherrards. 'I've lived in Bridge Road for the last 40 years and have absolutely no wish to be told I live in Sherrards, nice as it is. This change would mean voters in the affected roads having to vote in The Vineyard instead of St Francis Church' said Tony. 'So a significant number of elderly residents would have to trek uphill over the old railway line to a location with little or no parking and minimal public transport instead of a short flat walk! Ridiculous, I hope everyone in the affected roads tell the Commission exactly what they think of these anti-social suggestions.'
Of course, other parts of the borough are also facing, what can only be described as stunningly incompetent decisions taken by civil servants who have never visited the place and thinks maps define communities! Far and away the worst example is the proposal that Welham Green and South Hatfield have anything in common and could merge seamlessly; even a map reader should have been able to work that out as barking mad!