THE proposed changes that would create a new constituency – part Fareham, part Southampton – are proving controversial.
Hamble and Hedge End will take eight wards from Eastleigh and five from Fareham. And the feeling across Fareham that the wards of Sarisbury, Park Gate, Warsash, Titchfield Common and Locks Heath should not be lumped in with Southampton wards.
Under the changes Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, will see his Sarisbury ward join the likes of Bitterne and West End South, both of which are in Southampton.
He said: ‘It seems as though they have just added 3,000 here and 3,000 from there.
‘Bitterne is a very different place to Sarisbury, as it is to Hedge End.
‘It simply does not make sense.’
Traditionally the Fareham boundary has always fallen to the east of the River Hamble which runs down the middle of the proposed constituency.
And there are fears this juxtaposition could disillusion voters.
Fareham Councillor Jack Englefield, who represents Titchfield Common, is concerned that it will put voters off.
He said: ‘It seems very strange to me. I don’t think very much of it at all.
‘I don’t believe anyone in the local area would feel they are part of Hamble.
‘Over the years we have tried to implement a more local, more logical feel to the boundaries and I don’t think this is logical or local.
‘It will be very difficult for Fareham people to relate to. The river boundary is probably centuries old.
‘Fareham is a very distinct area and I think this is a step backwards. Where’s the common sense in it? People in Fareham must comment on these proposals and make their voices heard.’