Let's keep St Augustine's community together and part of Norwich city centre.
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In July the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) published plans to redraw Norwich's electoral city council wards. This quango's proposals, if carried out in November, would shift St Augustine's out of Mancroft, the city centre ward, into Mile Cross and Sewell wards, both northern suburb wards, and split our community down the middle of St Augustine's Street. The plans would also move Anglia Square, the northern half of Magdalen Street, Magpie Road, Cowgate and Bull Close Road into the northern suburbs.
For centuries the line between the city and the northern suburbs has been the old city walls. LGBCE's plans effectively shift the boundary south to the Inner Ring Road, widely regarded as one of Norwich's worst post-war planning disasters because of the negative effect it has had on our local communities and our traditional shopping streets, effectively cutting us off from the rest of the city. Just at the moment when we'd hoped to see our community reconnected with the city centre via a new pedestrian crossing over the Inner Ring Road at St George's Street, these plans will further marginalise us and reduce our community to no more than a minor suburban annex of north Norwich.
St Augustine's Community Together Residents' Association (ACT) came into being in 2003 to provide local residents and independent traders with a platform to make their voices heard and to campaign for improvements, such as for better parks and children's play areas, reduced air pollution, safer roads, reduced anti-social behaviour, and the care, repair and celebration of our historic built environment, so as to create a "village in the city" we can feel safe, happy and proud to live, work and raise our families in. This work is threatened by splitting our community in two and pushing it into the northern suburbs.
The changes will not just effect where we cast our vote and whom we vote for, but may also effect such things as house valuations, credit ratings, school catchment areas, council services, planning, transport and conservation. And when the parliamentary boundaries are eventually redrawn it is also likely we will be moved into Norwich North constituency.
St Augustine's has always been a part of the city centre and must remain so.
To find our more about the work of ACT go to www.staugustinesnorwich.org.uk
To make your own comments on the LGBCE's plans go to http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/eastern/norfolk/norwich
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