Opposition to plans to split the Manhood Peninsula in two

Monday, 21 March 2022 18:18

By Karen Dunn - Local Democracy Reporter

Last summer the Boundary Commission for England held a first consultation on redrawn Parliamentary boundaries as it looks to ensure each MP represents roughly the same number of electors.

Initial proposals would see Selsey and parishes such as Sidlesham, Hunston, North and South Mundham, Runcton, Oving and Tangmere move to a new Bognor Regis constituency.

The rest of the Manhood Peninsula including West Wittering, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Birdham and Earnley, would remain in the Chichester Parliamentary seat.

Chichester would gain Petworth, Kirdford and Wisborough Green. Several villages such as Graffham, East Lavington, Duncton and Bury would become part of the Arundel and Littlehampton seat.

The BCE is now holding a second consultation and so people can look at responses to the first and respond to them.

At a meeting on Tuesday (March 15), Chichester district councillors agreed to maintain an objection to the proposals and reiterated the importance of not splitting up the Manhood Peninsula ‘to avoid the damage that this would do to the local communities and their existing connections and sense of place’.

Donna Johnson (Local Alliance, Sidlesham and Selsey North) described how although the peninsula is quite disparate, its settlements have a connection and interdependence ‘which has stood the test of time’.

She opposed its ‘artificial severing’ and highlighted a total lack of connection with Bognor Regis ‘pleasant though it might be’.

Carol Purnell (Con, Sidlesham and Selsey North) said she had spoken informally to the commissioners at one of the hearings in Crawley and came away with the impression they were happy to listen to what people had to say.

She described Selsey and Bognor Regis as ‘totally different’ and outlined how difficult it was to travel between the two. 

She added in jest: “Unless they want to put a ferry on there, you can’t get to Bognor directly.”

Sarah Sharp (Green, Chichester South) said: “That sense of place and belonging must be more important than numbers on a spreadsheet.”

Save our South Coast Alliance is urging as many people as possible to respond to the review.

A spokesman said: “The peninsula to the south of Chichester is a single unit, geographically, economically, socially, and administratively.

"As a result, the proposal to move the eastern residents of the peninsula into a new Bognor Regis constituency, with residents on the western side of the peninsula remaining within the Chichester constituency seems contrary to the commission’s own guidelines and principles.”

The consultation closes on Monday April 4 for details visit https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/

 

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