Kibworth Poll result

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OPINIONS were divided over the question of whether to merge the parish councils of Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beauchamp.

A poll held yesterday (Thursday) asked villagers: Do you support the proposal that the parishes of Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beauchamp be grouped under a single council?

The overall result was 640 votes for the merger, to 295 against.

But there was a split in opinion between the two parishes, with Harcourt voting against the merger while Beauchamp voted for it.

In Kibworth Harcourt there were 91 votes in favour, compared to 211 against.

There were 549 yes votes in Beauchamp and 84 against.

The turnout of 25.5 per cent in Harcourt was higher than in Beauchamp, in which 19.4 per cent of residents voted.

Because this was a poll the results are not binding.

The result will be fed into Harborough District Council’s Governance Review, which is looking into the possibility of the merger.

The district council has previously said it needs to be satisfied there is support for the proposal from a majority of the electors in each of the parishes for the merger to be viable.

The result was announced last night (Thursday).

Earlier in the day Mail reporter Elinor O’Neill went along to the polling station- Kibworth Grammar School hall - to soak up the atmosphere.

There was a steady stream of people, each equipped with a white voting slip, ready to take part in the momentous decision.

And there were separate polling booths for Beauchamp and Harcourt - which broadly mirrored the pro and anti sides on the issue.

One resident, who has lived in Kibworth for 17 years, said just after they exited the polling station: “I voted in favour of the merger. It would support the village. I don’t see what the problem is, whether we’re together or apart.”

Two Kibworth residents, just before they voted, said they were voting against the grouping of the two parish councils because they wanted things to stay the same.

“We are old Kibworth and we want it to stay the same,” they said.

District and parish councillor Chris Holyoak was at the vote and said he felt people were generally sympathetic towards the merger.

Another resident, after they had voted, said: “I voted for one council. I think we are a growing village and I think perhaps the interests of the whole village would be better served by having one council.”
The result will be discussed by councillors at a Governance Review committee meeting at Lutterworth Pavilion on Tuesday night.

The review is also looking at parish boundary changes in Broughton Astley and Dunton Bassett.