Unrest over parliamentary boundary-change proposals affecting North Norfolk District Council parishes

Voters at one end of North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) patch want to come back into the North Norfolk parliamentary fold while those at the other end don't want to be shunted into a re-jigged Great Yarmouth constituency.

Proposals to change England's parliamentary constituencies are out to consultation and include adjustments affecting parishes within the district council's area.

Philip Burton, North Norfolk District Council chief executive, told last night's full council meeting that feedback received so far indicated Fakenham and surrounding parishes, which were moved into the new Broadland constituency last year, agreed with proposals to return them to North Norfolk.

But at the eastern end of the district the 12 parishes of Stalham, Catfield, Hickling, Horsey, Ingham, Lessingham, Ludham, Potter Heigham, East Ruston, Brumstead, Sea Palling and Sutton, did not agree with plans to move them under the Great Yarmouth parliamentary umbrella.

The Boundary Commission review aims to reduce the number of English constituencies to 502 and even up the numbers of electors within each.

Pauline Grove-Jones, district councillor for Stalham and Sutton, said: 'The general feeling is that we would oppose moving into Great Yarmouth. It's felt that we belong to North Norfolk. I think this is going to be contentious.'

John Lee said it seemed logical that the parliamentary boundaries should correspond with the district council area and Sue Arnold urged the council to 'fight very strongly' to avoid fragmentation as people felt a huge sense of identity with the district.

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Trevor Ivory suggested that if the two boundaries were not to coincide, the Boundary Commission should be asked to rename the parliamentary constituency.

The commission aims to create constituencies of between 72,810 and 80,473 electors.

Under the proposals the new North Norfolk constituency would have just over 72,870 voters, while Great Yarmouth had about 79,000. The new voting arrangements would take effect from 2015.

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