Low Dinsdale Parish Community Governance Review
The Low Dinsdale Parish currently straddles the ward of Sadberge and Middleton St George and Hurworth.
What is being Proposed
That Low Dinsdale ceases to be a Parish Council
That the northern part of Low Dinsdale parish be combined into Middleton St George to create an area of greater Middleton St George.
It is not proposed that the number of Middleton St George Parish Councillors would need to change
That the southern part of Low Dinsdale together with Sockburn Parish Meeting be combined to create a greater Neasham Parish Council.
Please click here [pdf document] for a map showing the proposed changes.
Reasons for Proposal
The 2014 Boundary Commission review resulted in changes to the ward boundary in the area. The former Middleton St George ward became the Sadberge and Middleton St George ward. In Middleton St George the ward boundary of the new Sadberge and Middleton St George ward cut across the upper part of the Low Dinsdale Parish Council boundary.
The new ward boundary effectively created two separate areas of Low Dinsdale Parish, an upper part in or adjacent to Middleton St George (in the Sadberge and Middleton St George ward) and a lower area predominantly rural in character (in the Hurworth ward).
Where a parish council area is split in this way into to two distinct areas by ward boundaries it is said to be warded. The parish council must then be constituted into separate wards to reflect this fact. There must be at least 100 electors in each ward boundary. This is not possible with the lower area of Middleton St George. The lower area of Low Dinsdale Parish has 97 and is too small to constitute a viable parish ward.
The lower area of Low Dinsdale Parish is also too small to be reformed into a separate Parish Council. This is not possible where a proposed new parish council has 150 or fewer local government electors.
It is also the case that the community identity of people living in the upper part of Low Dinsdale Parish adjacent to or in Middleton St George, is likely to be more towards Middleton St George than to Low Dinsdale.
One of the current anomalies will be that some of residents in Middleton St George will be within the Low Dinsdale Parish Council area and paying a precept to Low Dinsdale Parish Council while their neighbours the other side of the current boundary will be in the Middleton St George Parish Council parish boundary.
It is therefore proposed that Low Dinsdale ceases to be a Parish Council.
In order to ensure alternative community arrangements it is proposed that the southern part of Low Dinsdale together with Sockburn Parish Meeting be combined to create a greater Neasham Parish Council.
It is proposed that the northern part of Low Dinsdale parish (i.e. the part in the Sadberge and Middleton St George ward) is combined into the current Middleton St George parish area to create a slightly enlarged Middleton St George Parish Council. The number of Parish Councillors would remain the same.
We would like to hear your views and comments about the proposals. Your views are important whether or not you agree with the proposals set out.
The deadline for you to let us know your views is by the end of Sunday 4 October 2015. Please send your emails to CGRConsultation@darlington.gov.uk
If you need more information please email or ring Barbara Harris 01325 405812.