Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

DOVER ACCUSED OF GERRYMANDERING COUNCIL WARDS

  • Comment
Hansard 14 Dec: Column 1097 ...
Hansard 14 Dec: Column 1097

Dover DC came under fire in the house of lords yesterday for ignoring local representations and dividing the Cinque Port of Sandwich into two electoral wards.

Lord Pender, who asked the government the reason for this, said: 'Following the voting down of this proposal by the local residents by a three to one margin, and the fact that the status quo was accepted

by the local officers only to be overruled by the leader of Dover District Council, does not the minister consider that that might be construed as gerrymandering?'

Environment minister Lord Whitty replied: 'I do not see how the matter can be construed as gerrymandering because it has no implications for the structure of the district council itself; it simply relates to the town council of Sandwich. Although it is true that the majority of those who responded to consultation were against the measure, that did not constitute the majority of those whose views were sought. As I say, it is a matter for the district council under legislation passed in 1997'.

He stressed: 'Such decisions as to parish warding and the reasons for them are, under statute, matters for the district councils concerned and for which the council is accountable in local elections'.

Former Conservative minister Baroness Trumpington of Sandwich questioned whether it was usual to split electoral wards where the population was under 4,000 and said the people of Sandwich very much

resented being bullied against their will by Dover DC.

But the Earl of Sandwich, whose noble ancestor invented the first convenience food, asked: 'Does the minister agree that the sandwich has always traditionally been divided into two and what matters to the

people is the filling in the middle?'

Lord Whitty responded: 'The noble earl speaks from authority on this matter. I note his concern'.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.