By Local Democracy Reporter, Anna Whittaker
A councillor representing towns that could be swallowed up by a city Parliamentary constituency has warned: We don’t want to be part of Nottingham!
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is reviewing Parliamentary seats in England and proposing to move Kimberley and Nuthall from the Broxtowe constituency to Nottingham North.
But local councillor Philip Owen (Cons) has described the proposals as “rubbish!”
During heated exchanges at a meeting of Broxtowe Borough Council on July 21, he said: “A more inappropriate area to go into a city seat I couldn’t wish to imagine. Neither Nuthall nor Kimberley nor Watnall, nor Strelley village, have anything in common with the city.
“We are separate communities. It’s not just a numbers game, they are supposed to look at community interest.
“I can tell you now that Nuthall, Kimberley, Watnall and Strelley have no community interest with the city of Nottingham. The only thing that joins us is the A610.
“We don’t want to be part of Nottingham.”
Councillors were debating a motion supporting the BCE’s proposed changes which would also see Beeston staying inside the borough.
MP for Broxtowe Darren Henry has made an alternative suggestion that Kimberley and Nuthall are retained in the Broxtowe constituency and parts of Beeston are moved over the Parliamentary boundary.
Councillor Owen added: “It is an appalling motion, it is supporting what are rubbish proposals. There has been an outcry from local residents.
“To suggest Beeston doesn’t look towards the city… there are so many students and they go into the city for university. That would make far more sense.
“This cobbled up motion will be passed, but we will do our damedest to make sure these ludicrous proposals don’t see the light of day.”
But the motion was supported by Councillor David Watts (Lib), who said: “I would urge Councillor Owen to moderate his language.
“It is most unfortunate that very inappropriate attacks are made time and time again.
“We would all like to retain Nuthall and Kimberley in the borough but the numbers do not work.
“To start chopping up Beeston defeats the aim of respecting communities.”
Councillor Tim Hallam (Lib), said: “It would be lovely to say that Broxtowe borough and Broxtowe constituency were one and the same, however the numbers don’t work.
“I know how strong Beeston’s sense of community and sense of ‘I am a Beestonian’ is.
“It makes zero sense to split a community like that. There is no perfect solution, there never is.”
The motion was carried with 17 councillors for and 16 against.