Villagers resist boundary change to Midhurst

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A proposal to move Treyford and Elsted villagers into the Midhurst ward of Chichester District Council has been given the thumbs down.

The proposal comes as part of the electoral review of the district which is currently being carried out in a bid to reduce the total number of district councillors from 48 to 36.

Chairman of Midhurst Town Council’s planning committee Gordon McAra said new boundaries had been drawn up and the Harting ward was found to contain too many voters.

“It was also found that Midhurst had capacity for extra space and so it has been proposed to move Treyford and Elsted out of Harting.”

He said villagers were ‘deeply’ against the move as they felt much more affinity with the rural ward of Harting, which was only one mile away, than the more urban area of Midhurst.

It was eight miles away from Midhurst and the Harting based residents turned to Petersfield to shop and sent their children to Harting Primary School.

“Their attention is focused on the west of Harting which is rural whereas Midhurst is the largest urban conurbation north of the Downs,” said Mr McAra.

As part of the review, it has already been proposed that the rural parishes around Midhurst of Stedham, Bepton, Cocking, Woolbeding and Redford would also become part of the Midhurst ward..

“I suggest we tell them our view is that we should keep the status quo and Elsted and Treyford should stay in the Harting seat.”

A public consultation on the review is due to end next month.

Comments are being made to Chichester District Council itself and also by the Boundaries Commission and to West Sussex County Council.

In addition to the district review, Mr McAra said Elsted and Treyford Parish Council was in discussion with Trotton Parish Council with a view to forming one parish council from the three areas.

He said if one parish council was formed it was even more important to keep the villages together in the one district ward of Harting.

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