A WAR of words has broken out over whether Salisbury’s boundaries should be extended to take in the parish of Laverstock and Ford.

Salisbury City Council has been called a “hostile bully” and a “cold-hearted predator” that is out to line its pockets at the expense of its neighbours because by expanding, it would rake in more council tax.

But the remarks by Cllr Ian McLennan, who represents Laverstock and Ford on Wiltshire Council, have annoyed city council leader Andrew Roberts, who called them “intemperate” and “not appropriate for elected members”.

Cllr Roberts has written a report pointing out that under the current arrangements, Salisbury facilities such as the hospital, the cattle market and the airfield, along with three secondary schools, the racecourse, and three park and ride sites, are not technically in the city but in neighbouring parishes.

But Cllr McLennan has replied to it by claiming Laverstock faces “an act of wanton aggression and asset theft, with absolutely nothing to offer in return.”

City councillors are due to consider three options for “rationalising” Salisbury’s administrative boundaries at their meeting this evening.

Each involves taking in part or all of Laverstock and Ford.

One also includes absorbing Wilton.

They do not have to agree to any of them, although Cllr Roberts personally favours incorporating all the parishes adjoining Salisbury, or as he describes it, “everything seen to be urban in an aerial photo”.

The review is being carried out by Wiltshire Council.

Wilton Town Council will discuss its response next month.

Laverstock and Ford Parish Council may hold a special meeting to consider the issue later but has already told Wiltshire that it would like to be allowed an extra Wiltshire councillor to represent its growing population.