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Merger plans should be abandoned following poll, says councillor

Kibworth residents went to the polls over whether to merge the parish councils of Beauchamp and Harcourt. (Below) Cllr Phil King

Kibworth residents went to the polls over whether to merge the parish councils of Beauchamp and Harcourt. (Below) Cllr Phil King

A DISTRICT councillor is calling for the proposed merger of the parish councils to be abandoned following yesterday’s (Thursday) poll.

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.

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.

Cllr Phil King, who represents Kibworth Ward on Harborough Council, said: “The results speak for themsleves. Residents in one parish said yes, the other said no. I will be urging district council colleagues at the Community Governance Review committee meeting on Tuesday, January 15, to let common sense now prevail, and that they should now consign this to the ‘no further action’ tray.

“Until such time as both parish councils are clearly in favour of such a merger, and a fully worked through and costed feasibility plan is produced, then this will never have my support.

“In such circumstances, where one parish council was for and the other was opposed, the result was entirely predictable and indeed it is regretable that we had to have this poll, especially when two of the three district ward councillors were opposed as well as the county councillor.

“I now hope that both parish councils and their representatives can find a positive way forward and that inter-parish council relations have not been irrepairably damaged.”

 

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