A councillor who has represented a south Norfolk ward for nearly 20 years has expressed his ‘surprise’ at the news he will stand in a different one next year.
William Nunn, of the Conservatives, who works and lives in the West Guiltcross ward he represents at Breckland Council, will stand for election in the new Forest ward next year.
It comes after the Local Government Boundary Commission for England made recommendations for new electoral arrangements at Breckland Council, which will see the number of councillors reduced from 54 to 49.
The West Guiltcross ward will incorporate part of the Harling and Heathlands to form the new Guiltcross ward.
Mr Nunn, who led the council from 2005 to 2013, tweeted: “Having represented West Guiltcross for 20 years I am surprised not to have been selected to represent it again.”
The North Lopham resident, who first joined the council in 1995, told the Diss Express: “Having been for what would have been 20 years, and my existing seat is nearly 80 per cent of the new seat, I had presumed that I might get some preferential treatment.
“I have always believed that if people are going to be elected members for a ward or county division they need to be central to that as they possibly can to understand the issues and get to the people relatively quickly. I am sure by putting a stranger into my ward and by putting a stranger into another ward, it seems a bizarre thing to do on all levels.”
The South West Conservative Association is responsible for councillor allocations at elections. Ian Sherwood, agent of the association, would not comment on any individual cases.
He said: “As they are all new wards everybody had to express their first, second and third preferences. Each candidate has been told which ward they have been offered and, as we have 49 seats to allocate, then obviously some people will not have got their first choice.”
For details on the boundary changes, see www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/norfolk/breckland-fer