The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Winchester City Council.
Today’s publication follows an eight-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Winchester.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Winchester should be represented by 45 city councillors in the future: twelve fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent thirteen three-member wards and three two-member wards across the city.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Winchester 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 city and surrounding areas, 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 Winchester.”
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 February. The changes mean that the Commission has moved away from the uniform pattern of three-member wards for the whole of Winchester. Instead, the recommendations include three two-member wards which he Commission believe better reflect the shape of local communities and reflect the evidence submitted during consultation.
For example, to the south of Winchester town, the Commission has amended its draft proposals so that the final recommendations include a Badger Farm & Oliver’s Battery ward. In its draft proposals, the parishes of Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery had been included in separate wards. Responses to local consultation strongly suggested that the two areas shared community interests and identities. As a result, the Commission has amended its proposals to unite the parishes in the same ward.
The Commission also received strong local evidence that the parishes of Twyford and Colden Common ward should be included in the same ward as they share community interests. The Commission has responded positively to the representations and has amended its warding pattern to include a two-member Colden Common & Twyford ward. The proposed ward has the same boundaries as the existing ward of that name.