SHAKE-UPS proposed to electoral boundaries have been described as “impossible” and “ridiculous” by a team of concillors working to re-draw the map of Wiltshire.

Wiltshire is represented by 98 WIltshire Council councillors.

Due to increasing the population in the county, new lines have been drawn outlining where each councillor is set to represent.

Changing electoral boundaries could cause conflicts of interest for future councillors as villages and towns are mixed in a boundary shake-up.

Controversial areas include a divide for Bowerhill and Melksham, a potential conflict of interest in Westbury and Dilton Marsh and a proposal that could see Malemsbury town centre taken out of the ward of Malmesbury.

Councillors will vote on plans and suggest new names for areas across the county during a full council meeting on March 25.

During a meeting of the electoral review committee, the most recent proposals were analysed by councillors.

The Local Government Boundary Commission wants to see Dilton Marsh become part of Westbury West, despite arguments that urban areas and rural villages and hamlets should remain separate.

Under current proposals, one council would represent both the western side of Westbury and Dilton Marsh.

Chairman of the electoral review committee Cllr Richard Clewer said: “That councillor would have an impossible job effectively representing its residents as they defend Dilton Marsh from development in the area and promotes Westbury and its future development.

“Dilton Marsh parish council say they have more in common with the villages surrounding Westbury.”

In Melksham, an argument appeared over a development for 480 new homes east of Spa Road and south of Eastern Way (planning ref: 19/01789/DOC) , between Melksham and Bowerhill, proposed to fall into the Bowerhill ward.

Wiltshire Council originally suggested Melksham be split into five divisions, with three covering just the town area and two for neighbouring villages.

The boundary commission, which has the final say on how the county and country is split up, wants to mix rural and urban areas in all five, despite being against the principle.

Cllr Clewer said: “There is a new development on Eastern Way planned for 480 homes, so 800 electors and we had suggested it be part of Melksham East.

“The commission want it to be part of Bowerhill but it is strongly felt Bowerhill is an existing community and this is a new community that doesn’t fit with them.”

Cllr Gavin Grant said: “Bowerhill considers itself a community in its own right.”

Speaking about the new development, Cllr Jonathon Seed said: “You would have to go through two other divisions to get there and it cannot be reached from the Bowerhill side but it would be in Bowerhill ward, it is ridiculous.”

Bowerhill residents are set to dispute the plan and call to have a ward and councillor just for their interests.

In Malmesbury the historic Abbey could move from being represented by a Malmesbury councillor to the Sherston councillor.

The Mayor of Malmesbury plans to write to residents urging them to call for Malmesbury town centre to remain in the Malmesbury ward.

To make a submission to the commission, email including Kieran Elliott, of Democratic Services on: by April 15.

Alternatively, write to:

The Review Officer (Wiltshire)

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

1st Floor, Windsor House

50 Victoria Street

London SW1H 0TL