Flintshire councillor’s anger over plans to unite neighbouring wards

Reporter:

Lois Hough

AN OUTSPOKEN councillor has slammed a report proposing changes to his ward.

Plans to merge Saltney Mold Junction and Saltney Stonebridge by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales have been described as scandalous by Cllr Klaus Armstrong-Braun.

But members of Saltney Town Council said the majority of residents were pleased with the plans after more than 1,000 people signed a petition supporting the merger.

Cllr Armstrong-Braun, who represents Saltney Mold Junction with an electorate of 931, said: “They decided to split the wards eight years ago because they had a different identity.

“They have just looked at the figures of electors. I hope Flintshire Council challenge this.”

Widespread opposition met the commission’s original proposals which would have slashed the number of county councillors in Flintshire from 70 to 60 and seen Broughton and Bretton North East and Broughton and Bretton South merge with the two Saltney wards.

But town councillor Richard Lloyd welcomed the new plans and said the merger would allow Saltney to keep its two county councillors.

He said: “The people said they would prefer to merge the two rather than lose a councillor.

“We are pleased because this is what we requested the commission to do.”

Saltney Stonebridge councillor and town mayor Veronica Gay said: “It was the members of the public who went out with the petition. They wanted one Saltney.

“You cannot have one ward with less people and one with about 3,000. If the people tell us what they want it is our duty to support it.”

Cllr Armstrong-Braun said he was worried the ward would lose its status as a rural area and miss out on European funding.

He said: “This is the lesser of two evils. We are having 200 new homes built and it could go up to 400. They have not thought about the rural wards.”

Saltney Town Council is set to hold a meeting to discuss the proposals with members of the public welcome to attend.

The full report can be viewed at www.bcomm-wales.gov.uk

- Proposals to merge Broughton and Bretton North East with Broughton and Bretton South are also contained within the report. If successful the new Broughton and Bretton ward will have three councillors.

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