Residents have their say over potential boundary changes
Letters are due to land on doormats in Stowmarket, Onehouse, Battisford and Combs this week – inviting residents and organisations to give their views on potential changes to town and parish boundaries.
Mid Suffolk District Council is carrying out a community governance review – a legal process where town and parish councils can request changes to how their local communities are represented. As part of the process, the council has been asked to consider possible changes with electoral arrangements for Onehouse and Stowmarket, and Battisford and Combs.
Residents, businesses and organisations in Stowmarket and Onehouse are being asked their views on Stowmarket Town Council’s request for the boundary to be moved so that some houses currently in Onehouse, including part of the new Union Road development, become part of Stowmarket instead. The proposal has caused intense debate between Stowmarket Town Council and Onehouse Parish Council – with local residents now urged to have their say before Wednesday 10 January 2024.
Meanwhile, residents, businesses and organisations in Combs and Battisford are being canvassed for their views on proposals to move the boundary between their parishes, affecting the Bowl Meadow development and some properties on Bildeston Road, currently within Combs.
Information packs, including maps and surveys have been sent out to all households within the affected areas, with further information, including a downloadable survey, available on the council website. Other accessible formats can also be provided by request.
The information in the pack and on the website also includes reasoning behind each of the recommendations, following consideration of the proposals by a cross-party working group of councillors.
The working group recommends no change to the existing Stowmarket and Onehouse boundary. It also recommends no change to the boundary between Combs and Battisford at Bildeston Road, but agrees to the Bowl Meadow development becoming part of Battisford. This proposal is supported by Battisford Parish Council and not opposed by Combs Parish Council on the basis that the electors now decide.
Following the close of consultation on 10 January 2024, all feedback will be considered ahead of final recommendations being published in January, with a decision by Mid Suffolk District Council expected at its Full Council meeting in February.