Doncaster village will ‘split in two’

Thorne Road, Edenthorpe.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Thorne Road, Edenthorpe. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Furious residents claim their village will be ‘split in two’ under proposed changes to boundary lines.

Wide-ranging plans to alter Doncaster’s political boundaries would see Edenthorpe separated into two electoral wards.

More than 100 villagers packed into a public meeting to voice their concerns, amid fears the move will rip the heart out of their community, cause problems with school places, and affect house prices.

Mum-of-one Alisa Calladine, of Woodlands Gardens, said: “Our village will be split into two.

“The village has been as one under the current boundary and should stay the same. Segregating us may harm community spirit.”

Under the proposal, a new boundary line would be drawn along Thorne Road in the current Edenthorpe, Kirk Sandall and Barnby Dun ward.

People living north of the boundary would be part of a new Barnby Dun with Kirk Sandall ward, served by two councillors. Those south of the line would be inside an expanded Armthorpe ward, served by three councillors.

Ms Calladine, who joined residents at a meeting in Edenthorpe Community Centre, added: “Kids who went to the same primary school might have to go to a different secondary schools because they will be in a different catchment area.

“It also might affect house prices if we are classed as being in a different ward.”

Residents were due to attend a second public meeting last night.

The scheme forms part of a wide-ranging proposal put forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission that will see town and villages lines adjusted across the Doncaster borough.

The total number of councillors would be reduced from 63 to 54, serving 22 wards, after the commission stated the authority was oversized.

Different political and working groups from Doncaster Council put forward their plans, and the commission revealed their draft recommended option on May 27.

The report states the boundary change affecting Edenthorpe provides ‘good electoral equality’ and was necessary to help reduce the overall number of Doncaster councillors.

It also proposes Edenthorpe Parish Council should retain its nine councillors, with five members representing the northern part, and four in the south.

One parish councillor, who did not want to be named, said: “The changes primarily affect the metropolitan councillors, not the parish council. We will listen to everyone’s views and discuss it further.”

A member of Armthorpe Parish Council said they will discuss the matter at their next meeting on July 1.

Max Caller CBE, chair of the commission, said: “We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole borough or just part of it.”

During a council meeting in February to discuss the plans, Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “We will be going forward with the best interests of this borough.”

Residents have until August 11 to comment on the plans. The commission will publish their final recommendation on October 14.

This will then become law, unless objections are raised in the Houses of Parliament.

View the proposal online at Local Government Boundary Commission