Conservative members hit back

Pictured looking towards Hucknall town centre.
Pictured looking towards Hucknall town centre.

A fight to stop Hucknall ‘losing its identity’ as a result of proposed boundary changes is gathering momentum.

At a meeting this week, Butlers Hill and Goodall Area Tenants’ and Residents’ Association expressed their support for a Keep Hucknall HUCKNALL campaign.

As the Dispatch reported last week, the Boundary Commission are planning to form eight new Ashfield District Council wards to replace those called Hucknall Central, Hucknall North, Hucknall East and Hucknall West.

Coun John Wilkinson, a Labour member for the town on Notts County Council, told the meeting that the word Hucknall would not be part of any of the proposed new ward names.

“In other words, it would be as if Hucknall is being wiped off the map.”

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer called the campaign nonsense and said it was just a ‘smoke screen tactic by councillors to avoid accountability’.

This was echoed by Sherwood Conservatives Association chairman, Trevor Peat.

“These new proposals that have been put forward by the independent Boundaries Commission after a public consultation would see fairer and more democratic representation for Hucknall residents,” he said. “Most areas would have a single councillor to hold to account.

“It is also the case that some councillors are able to do very little work; a fact which is covered up by the work of their colleagues who take up slack.

“It also means that smaller geographic areas could elect a councillor who is more aligned with their political views as they are chosen by a smaller group of residents with more of a similar demographic. This is a massive benefit to the many smaller communities within Hucknall, who would have a greater say in who represents them.

He also said it was a political move by Labour councillors to gain more votes.

“I would urge local residents not be taken in by what is clearly a political ploy from Labour to maintain their grip on the council. The names of the Hucknall wards can be changed easily to whatever they want them to be, it doesn’t matter. What the wards are called is largely irrelevant. What matters is getting the best possible representation and the fairest system for Hucknall, and that means we should support the proposal as it’s been put forward.”