Local electoral arrangements finalised for Birmingham
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements across Birmingham.
Today’s publication follows a six-week public consultation on draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward in the city.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Birmingham should be represented by 101 councillors in the future: nineteen fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 37 single-member wards and 32 two-member wards across the city.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Birmingham who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received, over three rounds of consultation, before finalising these recommendations.
“Across the city, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements. As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities in Birmingham.
“The Commission believes that the new electoral arrangements provide an overall number of councillors that can help the authority set and implement its strategy for the city. The pattern of wards will also promote local accountability across the many communities that make up Birmingham.”
In response to representations made to the Commission during consultation, the Commission has made changes to the proposals published in May.
In Balsall Heath, local people told the Commission that its recommendations divided the centre of the community between wards. The final recommendations extend the boundary of the Balsall Heath West eastwards so that the centre of the community is contained within a single ward. The Commission has also renamed Sparkbrook ward as Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East ward to reflect the identities of the communities within it.
The Commission received local representations that stated its proposals for a single-member Perry Beeches and Perry Hall wards artificially divided a cohesive community. The Commission has therefore merged the two wards to form a two-member Perry Barr ward.
In Erdington and its surrounding area, the Commission has reconfigured its pattern of wards in response to local evidence around community identities. The Short Heath community will be part of the Perry Common ward rather than Erdington and an area to the north of the A452 Chester Road is included in Erdington ward instead of Pype Hayes ward.
The Commission received representations on its proposals that parts of the Oscott community had been included in the Kingstanding ward and that an area that identified with the Kingstanding community had been included with Oscott ward. The Commission has amended the boundaries of the wards to reflect that evidence. Therefore, the area to the north of the B4149 King’s Road – up to Sutton Coldfield – is included in Oscott ward. The area around the southern part of the B4138 Kingstanding Road is included as part of Kingstanding ward.
The boundaries of the Stockland Green ward have also been amended in the west to include the area between Witton Lakes and Witton Cemetery and its eastern boundary has moved westwards so that it runs along the Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield railway line. The Commission was persuaded that the new configuration provided a better reflection of community identities and draws boundaries that are strong and locally recognised.
Local people and groups also made representations on the names of wards. The Commission has listened to those views and has amended ten ward names. The changes include the addition of the Druids Heath name so that the ward covering that area will be called Druids Heath & Monyhull.
The full list of name changes is as follows:
|Further Draft Recommendations||Final Recommendations
||Balsall Heath West
||Brandwood & King's Heath
|Longbridge & Rubery Rednal
||Rubery & Rednal
||Druids Heath & Monyhull
||Perry Barr (Two-member ward)
||Perry Barr (Two-member ward)
||Sparkbrook & Balsall Heath East
|West Heath North
Longbridge & West Heath (Two-member ward)
|West Heath South
||Longbridge & West Heath (Two-member ward)
Elsewhere in Birmingham, the Commission has retained proposals that received support from local people in previous phases of consultation:
Full details of the final recommendations are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.
The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament. A draft order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in Parliament in the coming months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the council elections in 2018.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250/1525 or email: email@example.com
Notes to editors: