Move to unite divided neighbours

A neighbourhood divided by a border between two councils that runs through properties and gardens could be united after moves began this week.

Some of the residents of Trajan Gate, Neptune Gate and Gordian Way fall within Stevenage Borough Council while others are in East Herts District Council, despite living within yards of one another. Others can walk across their living room and cross from one authority to the other.

Both councils approached the Local Government Boundary Commission for England last year to rectify the situation. The commission has proposed bringing the area wholly within Stevenage by moving the boundary between the two authorities to Gresley Way. A six-week consultation with affected residents began yesterday.

Chair of the commission, Max Caller said: “We’ve taken a common sense approach to an issue where the boundary hasn’t kept pace with development in the local area. We now want to hear whether the residents affected by the proposed change agree with our recommendation.

“We believe that the current boundary could be confusing, it doesn’t promote effective local government and it splits a community. That’s why we’re proposing to take action.”

If put into practice, 19 households would transfer from East Herts to Stevenage, while another 15 properties currently split by the boundary would become wholly within the borough.

Any recommendations for changes will be made to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in April or May, who has the final say on any proposals.