Political boundary role divides Rainworth

NMAC11-1807-1''Councillors Martin Wright, Linda Tift and Geoff Merry pictured at the sign for Rainworth on Thursday

NMAC11-1807-1''Councillors Martin Wright, Linda Tift and Geoff Merry pictured at the sign for Rainworth on Thursday

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A QUIRKY political boundary rule which effectively cuts Rainworth in two should finally be sorted out, councillors say.

Cross-border members have joined forces to call for the village to be moved into Mansfield or Newark & Sherwood District - instead of being divided down the middle.

Some warned the split has caused a ‘divided’ community, with even Christmas lights stopping at the border.

Mansfield East county councillor Martin Wright said: “It’s about time the village was treated as one place.

“The result of this is the larger part of the village has a parish council that is quite active but the other side has got nothing.”

Under the current boundary the line between the two districts slices across Rainworth at the end of Lake Farm Road off Southwell Road East.

This leaves the centre of the village to the east, and roughly three quarters of its population, in Newark & Sherwood, while to the west around a dozen streets are in Mansfield.

Coun Wright has recently teamed up with fellow county councillors Geoff Merry, Rainworth and Blidworth, and Bob Cross, Mansfield East, to work across the boundary to give £1,000 towards flower planters to brighten up the village.

Said Coun Merry: “It would make it easier for everyone to be in the same district, one or the other.

“But you are going to get some people in the Mansfield side that don’t want to be in Newark & Sherwood and vice versa.”

Coun Wright added a meeting or public survey and vote could be the answer.

Ultimately, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England has the power to change the district line.

Coun Linda Tift, chairman of Rainworth Parish Council, said she had first raised the issue with the commission around eight years ago.

“It’s madness; the needs of one side of the village are not different to the other side.

“When we have our annual party for pensioners, those on the other side of the boundary can’t come because anything paid for by the precept has to be spent on people who actually live in the parish.”

A spokesman for the commission said there was no objection in principle to a change, adding: “We have never reviewed the boundary, but will facilitate any changes and are looking for local authorities to let us know where there is support for that.”