SALISBURY City Council and Laverstock and Ford Parish Council have come together to reject plans from the boundary commission to merge a number of wards, amid fears it could reopen fresh wounds in a historic battle between the authorities.

At a Salisbury City Council meeting on Monday, Councillor Sven Hocking (Conservative) said a recent proposal from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) was to split the existing Laverstock parish and combine parts of it with Salisbury St Martin’s and Cathedral, and Salisbury St Edmund and Milford.

The new plans were submitted by LGBCE, which rejected the initial proposal from Wiltshire Council to split Laverstock and Ford into East and West, but otherwise not merge it with Salisbury.

Cllr Hocking said combining parts of Salisbury and Laverstock would not “allow for effective local government, on the grounds of community cohesion”, adding: “Nobody really wants to open the old wounds of the Salisbury and Laverstock fight we had a few years ago.”

Tensions between the two councils came to a head in 2016, after Salisbury City Council tried to takeover Laverstock and Ford for financial gain, but a massive defeat by a vote at Wiltshire Council meant the merger did not go ahead.

Cllr Hocking said the city council could oppose the suggestions from LGBCE, but it needed to be united in the decision.

After some discussion, the city council voted unanimously to reject the LGBCE proposal and support the original plans put forward by Wiltshire Council.

Cllr Matt Dean (Independent) also suggested the LGBCE be approached to determine why Wiltshire Council’s initial plan was thrown out.

Wiltshire Councillor for Laverstock, Ford and Old Sarum said he was pleased with the city council’s decision to oppose the LGBCE plan and said he was “on board with it all”, adding: “It’s a ridiculous thing to do, to split a historic village like Laverstock is crazy.”

“Laverstock and Ford parish wants to be near Salisbury, not in it,” he added.