Electoral boundaries for Warwick district could shift
THE electoral jigsaw puzzle of Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth could be dramatically recut under proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission.
The commission is holding an 11-week consultation on draft recommendations for how Warwick District Council - responsible for housing, refuse collection, car parks and planning - is elected.
The commission says the district has a higher than normal disparity in the size of its wards, making some people’s votes worth more than others.
Now it is asking people for their views on whether its proposals reflect local communities, how they can be improved while maintaining equality - and whether the names are suitable.
Commission chairman Max Caller said: “Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each district councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in district council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.
“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Warwick and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.
“Our draft recommendations are broadly based on evidence presented to us by the council but we have included a number of our own proposals. We have an open mind about further suggestions from local people to change and improve the recommendations.”
There will still be 46 councillors, but with largely two per ward in proposals, the way towns such as Leamington and Warwick are divided up will be changed enormously, perhaps affecting the balance of political power.
A new Leam ward will cover the current Leamington Willes ward south of the river. A new Sydenham ward will be created taking in the estate and part of the current Brunswick ward, which will be shrunk.
Whitnash will disappear, making way for a smaller Briar Hill ward.
In north Leamington, Manor will shift to the north east, losing territory to Crown, which will grow slightly to the west. A new Newbold ward will cover Northumberland Road area, Kenilworth Road and across Clarendon Street and Leicester Street as far south as Upper Holly Walk.
Milverton will expand into countryside currently part of Cubbington, but lose its town centre areas to a larger Clarendon ward, stretching from the edge of Offchurch to Warwick.
Warwick wards will be largely redrawn. Warwick south will be replaced by Heathcote and Bishop’s Tachbrook Ward, one of two with three councillors. A new Woodloes ward will cover Warwick North and hook around south of Saltisford, while a central Saltisford ward will be created, covering the town centre, Packmores estate, Cape Road and between Emscote Road and the River Avon.
The Spinney Hill, Greville Road and Emscote Road north of the railway line will be parcelled into a new Emscote ward, while a new single-member Myton ward will
In Kenilworth, St John’s will shrink slightly to make way for a new Windy Arbour ward, which will also take up part of the existing Park Hill ward.
Another three-member ward, Kenilworth Abbey will stay broadly the same, expanding east into the present Stoneleigh territory on Warwick University campus.
Of rural wards, on Budbrooke will remain unchanged. Lapworth and Leek Wootton will be merged into a new Arden ward, The one-member Radford Semele will extend north to cover Wappenbury and Eathorpe. A new Stoneleigh and Cubbington ward will cover Myton Road from Bridge End to the Princes Drive roundabout. A new Aylesford ward will encompass Lammas Field, the Forbes estate, Chase Meadow and the West Street area.
Once the commission agrees its final recommendations it will lay a draft order in both Houses of Parliament. Parliament will then have 40 days in which to consider the recommendations.
If both houses are satisfied, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the council elections in May 2015.
The consultation will end on January 7.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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