East Riding residents could get their say in the debate on local authority boundaries, as proposals for a postal referendum in wards or part of the wards that border with neighbouring Hull City Council go before a meeting of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Full Council on Wednesday, 2 April.
In recent weeks, Hull City Council has revived the discussion on boundaries, with a view to expanding into areas currently within East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s administrative borders and have decided to establish an Inquiry to look into the issue.
An amendment to the motion proposes that electors in the wards of or part wards of Dale, South Hunsley, Willerby & Kirkella, Tranby, South West Holderness, Mid Holderness, Hessle, Cottingham North and Cottingham South wards be given the opportunity to have their say whether they wish to remain within the present administrative boundaries of the East Riding or be included in an expansion of Hull.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “In the interests of transparency, an amended motion proposes to seek the views of electors in these areas, through the democratic process, and allow them to have their say about their own future via a postal referendum.
“The debate over administrative boundaries is regularly raised but is never instigated by this authority, which remains committed to serving all communities of the East Riding both now and in the future.
“A motion will go before Full Council as well as an amended motion and, subject to a vote; the council would seek to undertake a postal referendum in early summer.
“It is disappointing that the issue of boundaries has again been raised and I feel that the best course of action is to put this to the electorate in the areas concerned.
“There are a number of city authorities in the country who have high populations living in a small geographical area, such as Southampton, Portsmouth and Luton. Hull is not a unique case.
Data from the last national Census (2011) Show that Hull is 17th in population density per hectare and compares favourably against other city authorities with a similar number of residents living in a small area, including Southampton, Portsmouth and Luton:
Area All Usual Residents Area (Hectares)
Portsmouth 205,056 4,041
Southampton 236,882 4,989
Luton 203,201 4,335
Kingston upon Hull 256,406 7,145
“It is misleading of the city council to put forward the notion that its boundaries be extended to accommodate a perceived strain put on services it delivers, such as theatres, by East Riding residents when councils across the country, including this authority, do the same.
“East Riding residents play an important role in supporting the city economy, just as residents from Hull do when they visit towns like Beverley and Bridlington.
“East Riding of Yorkshire Council prides itself on its partnership work with both public and private sector organisations and already works closely with the city council on a number of important issues, such as inward investment to grow the local economy, promotion of the area’s rich tourism offer, flood alleviation and waste and recycling, and will continue to do so for the benefit of residents living in both areas.
“It is a time of unprecedented change for local government and, contrary to statements made by other local authorities, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has not been treated any differently or more favourably. It’s challenging and, at times, difficult, but residents, quite rightly, expect us to get on with it.
“The council has an excellent reputation for strong financial management and has so far achieved savings by looking everywhere for value for money, by instilling a readiness to innovate and by doing things differently.
“Proposals for this referendum are not about funding, it is about giving residents the opportunity to decide on who they want to deliver key services in their community.”