Parish hangs on to its store in boundary bid

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Which parish the Sainsbury’s store falls into was at stake, as Central Bedfordshire Council debated parish council governance issues.

A review of the size of town and parish councils and several boundary issues, were being considered by its general purposes committee last Thursday.

Northill Cllr Frank Firth said he couldn’t accept the store moving out of Northill.

“Biggleswade is expanding rapidly, mainly to the east. So why do they want this small piece of land in the parish of Northill?.”

But Biggleswade North Cllr Steven Watkins said: “I think it’s pretty arguable that Sainsbury’s primarily services the residents of Biggleswade. It’s absolutely common sense it comes within our boundary”.

The council’s democratic services manager Brian Dunleavy said at Thursday’s meeting: “The (consultation) committee turned down the idea of expansion into Sutton and Dunton.

“But it did consider there may be merit to move the boundary from the River Ivel to what is the A1 because Sainsbury’s in Biggleswade is not Sainsbury’s in Northill.”

The committee decided the number of parish councillors on Biggleswade Town Council remain unchanged at 15, but altered to five in each of the Holme Ivel and Stratton wards. They also agreed some changes to the parish ward boundaries for Holme and Stratton to provide a fairer ratio of electors to seats.

But by six votes to three the committee rejected redrawing the parish boundaries between Northill and Biggleswade.