The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Cherwell District Council.
Today’s publication follows a ten-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Cherwell.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Cherwell should be represented by 48 district councillors in the future: two fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent sixteen three-member wards across the district.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Cherwell who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.
“Across the district, 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 Cherwell.”
In response to representations made to it on the draft recommendations, the Commission has made changes to the draft proposals it originally put forward for consultation in December 2014. For example, the Commission has amended its draft recommendations so that Trinity Close and Warwick Road should be included in the Banbury Ruscote ward rather than the Banbury Hardwick ward as previously proposed. The Commission received evidence during consultation that the alternative arrangement would be a better reflection of local community identities. The change also means that the district ward boundary now follows the existing county division boundary.
In addition, the southern boundary of Banbury Ruscote ward has been amended to run behind properties on the northern side of Broughton Road. The change not only ensures that the boundary follows the existing county division boundary but also means that the overall proposals deliver a high level of electoral equality for voters across this part of Banbury.
In the Kidlington part of the district, the Commission has also changed its recommendations in light of local feedback during consultation. As such, the boundary between Kidlington East ward and Kidlington West ward will run north of Lane Close and Fernhill Close. The Commission agrees with local views that this arrangement better reflects the shape of local community identities.
Elsewhere in Cherwell, the Commission has listened to the responses to consultation from local people and organisations and has changed some of the names of wards it originally put forward in December. As a result, Banbury Cross & Castle ward is re-named Banbury Cross & Neithrop. Bicester North ward will be called Bicester North & Caversfield ward. Similarly, the draft recommendations have been amended so that Bicester South ward will now be called Bicester South & Ambrosden ward. The Commission believes that the alternative ward names are a better reflection of local community identities.
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 2016.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1525 / 1250 or email: email@example.com
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