Felixstowe: Labour and Conservatives clash over new council wards

Felixstowe Town Hall

Felixstowe Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Boundary changes for people voting in council elections in Felixstowe must reflect the population growth from likely future housing projects, according to the Labour party.

The party is urging the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to ensure it takes into account potential projects such as Walton Green South, Ferry Road, and the site and playing fields of the old Deben High School when it cuts the number of council wards at the resort.

Both Conservatives and Labour have put forward separate suggestions to the commission for the new wards.

The Labour proposal envisages four wards for the town instead of the current five.

Each ward would return two Suffolk Coastal district councillors. This would reduce the number to eight from 11, though Labour says the population could merit nine.

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It would kill off the south-east ward, whose councillors currently include Andy Smith, deputy leader of the district council, and create four wards using the railway line, Hamilton Road, Cobbold Road, Beatrice Avenue, and Brook Lane as the new boundaries.

In its submission, the party says use of the Deben site could mean 400 new electors – and moving it into the north ward “will give a far better pattern of community interests”.

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The changes will see the number of Suffolk Coastal councillors cut from 55 to 43, which could save the authority around £100,000 a year.

Consultation on the changes closed last week.

Professor Colin Mellors, deputy chairman of the commission, said: “We will consider every submission we receive from local people before we draw up draft recommendations.

“We will then open another phase of consultation on those proposals in January.”

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