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Error Creates Single-Dwelling Ward

Error Creates Single-Dwelling Ward

An error in the Geographical Information System (GIS) used by West Northamptonshire Council will create a new ward containing just one property in the forthcoming local government boundary review. Normally a ward would contain 2,000 to 3,000 dwellings but this new ward, which will have its very own ward councillor, will contain just one rural cottage.

The error was caused by a glitch in the GIS data, which is used to draw the ward boundaries. A single pixel was missed out, which is equivalent to 0.025 hectares, and in that area stands the isolated Hope Cottage. Because there is a dwelling in the area, and therefore one or more residents, the council is legally required to create a ward and to appoint one of its councillors to it.

Hope Cottage owner, Mr Jerry Mandering, said that he would be honoured to have his own unitary council ward, but quickly ruled himself out of standing for election as a councillor. He said "I'm not on the grid and I never see the council. Now I'll be able to call upon my own personal councillor."

Local WNC member Cllr Phillis Tyne said that the new ward would come under her responsibility as the nearest representative. "It would be ridiculous to have a ward member covering just one property. It would be democratic representation gone mad!"

GIS Officer, Lou Sope, said "These errors do occur, but normally there isn't a property in the anomalous area, so we don't have to worry. It's just a fluke on this occasion."

It is hoped that common sense will prevail in the end.

Posted: Sat, 01 Apr 2023 08:54 by Danny Moody

Tags: Miscellaneous, Unitary