There are just days left to object to the proposed re-organisation of council boundaries in a move that would controversially destroy Chester’s vibrant Garden Quarter ward.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is reviewing ward boundaries in the Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) area with a proposed reduction in the overall number of councillors from 75 to 70.
Among the most contentious changes is a plan to abolish Garden Quarter ward, which represents a distinct community in and around the Garden Lane area of Chester. It would be divided up between the neighbouring wards of Blacon and Chester City.
Ward member Cllr Bob Rudd , who is also chairman of CWaC and of Cheshire Fire Authority, argues the ward’s ‘community identity’ means it must be retained.
He said: “I attended a pubic meeting with Matt Baker a month ago and there were about 60 people there. Not one person was supportive of the Boundary Commission measures. I said of all the wards I’ve represented, which is over 45-plus years across six different councils, Garden Quarter has the best community spirit of any of those I have represented.”
One resident has produced a flyer with the heading ‘Did you know you could be moving to Blacon?’.
Cllr Rudd responded: “That’s unfortunate. I have tried to keep my comments neutral regarding the other two wards because I don’t want to antagonise anyone – there’s nothing wrong with Blacon and there’s nothing wrong with City.”
His alternative suggestion is three two-member wards representing Garden Quarter, Blacon and Chester City & Boughton . He encourages everyone to have their say before the public consultation closes on Monday, November 6, 2017.
Meanwhile, there are also concerns south of the river.
Mr Barritt, general secretary, Handbridge Residents Council, said there was ‘no such compatibility’ among the wards the commission seeks to combine in an ‘even bigger unmanageable’ unit.
■ Full recommendations and detailed maps are available on the commission’s website .
Visit the interactive map to learn how your area could be affected by clicking here .
If you would like to make a submission to the commission, email: email@example.com or write by November 6, 2017 to: The Review Officer (Cheshire West and Chester), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London SW1P 4QP.