THE Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for ward arrangements in Cheshire West and Chester, increasing the number of councillors by three to 75 serving 46 wards.
An order will be laid before Parliament in October and the recommendations can either be accepted or rejected. If accepted the new electoral arrangements will come into force at the next Council elections in May next year.
The Boundary Commission’s Recommendations can be found at www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/north-west/cheshire/cheshire-west-_and_-chester-electoral-review.
This follows the publication of draft recommendations in November 2009 and months of consultation with local representatives and communities.
The review is designed to enhance electoral equality; community identities; and efficient and convenient local government.
It is recommended that of the Cheshire West and Chester Council wards: 22 will be single member wards; 19 will be two-member wards and five will be three-member wards.
This differs from the draft recommendations which advocated 20 single-Member wards, 17 two-Member wards and seven three Member wards.
The proposed ward arrangements have been altered in the draft recommendations.
Part of Sutton ward (previously named Heath) would transfer to Strawberry ward, there have been minor changes to the proposed boundaries of Newton and Garden Quarter, as well as minor changes to the proposed boundaries of Boughton and Great Boughton.
Following a short consultation, there have been a number of boundary changes impacting on Saughall and Mollington, Elton and Little Neston and Burton.
The Commission recommends replacing the proposal for a three Member Eddisbury ward with a two Member ward for Tarvin and Kelsall which would be joined together and a single Member ward for Tarporley.
Rather than the previous proposal for a three Member Frodsham and Helsby ward, it recommends a single-Member ward for Helsby and a two-Member ward for Frodsham.
There has also been a slight boundary change to the proposed wards of Weaver and Cuddington and Marbury.
The reaction to the proposals were mixed.
Council leader Mike Jones said: “We are currently reviewing the implications created by the recommendations and although we welcome parts of the proposals we are disappointed that in some cases they split apart natural communities.”
Councillor Derek Bateman, leader of the Labour group said: “We are a little disappointed because we did not get all single member wards in the proposal which after all was the basis of the bid that was submitted to the Government.
“However it will certainly allow a lot of local member advocacy.”
Councillor Malcolm Gaskill, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: ”We are quite pleased with the recommendations because they very much follow our arguments put forward in debates.
“We advocated for single and two member wards and obviously, where practical, three member wards.”