The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published new proposals for council ward boundaries across Birmingham.
A six-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today (10 May) and will end on 20 June 2016. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Birmingham.
Publication of the proposals follows a public consultation earlier in the year when over 2000 local responses were received on the Commission’s original recommendations. In light of local feedback, the Commission has made changes to its plans and is now asking local people to have their say on the revised proposals.
The Commission’s new recommendations propose that Birmingham City Council should have 101 city councillors in the future, nineteen fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent 41 single-member wards and 30 two-member wards across the city.
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “The Commission has considered every view put to us by local people on the original proposals. Due to the strength of the evidence we received about community ties and the quality of alternative proposals put to us, we have made several changes to the boundaries and names of wards across the city
“We are now asking local people to have a look at the revised recommendations and to tell us where they support them and, if not, to put forward alternative suggestions.
“The Commission will consider all submissions received during this consultation before we finalise them in September.”
In response to local views, the Commission has made several changes to the proposals it put forward for consultation in December 2015, including:
• Ensuring that whole of Moseley Village is included in a ward to be represented by two councillors. The Commission’s previous proposals had divided the village between wards.
• Creating a Hall Green North ward so that Hall Green railway station and Hall Green School are included in it. Part of the Hall Green community had been included in a Tyseley ward under the previous proposals.
• Ensuring that the historic heart of Acocks Green is wholly contained in an Acocks Green ward rather than divided between wards as previously proposed.
• Including Edgbaston cricket ground in the Edgbaston ward. In addition, the new proposals recognise that the area to the south of Edgbaston reservoir identifies with the Edgbaston community. As such, the Commission has re-named its Summerfield ward as North Edgbaston ward to cover this area.
• Enlarging the proposed Erdington ward to include Erdington Abbey and Erdington railway station and the surrounding communities that consider themselves to be part of Erdington. These communities had previously been included in a Short Heath ward.
• Changes to proposed ward boundaries in Sutton Coldfield to reflect the Whitehouse Common community which had been divided between wards and creating a Sutton Vesey ward as proposed by local people.
• Changing the names of sixteen proposed wards in light of community views. For example, the retention of the Longbridge name in a Longbridge & Rubery Rednal ward, re-naming Stechford East ward as Yardley East and changing the proposed Winson Green ward to Soho & Jewellery Quarter ward.
The Commission has made further changes to its proposed ward boundaries across the city which are set out in its report and interactive maps which can be found on its website at: www.lgbce.org.uk
The Commission now wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Birmingham City Council. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 20 June 2016:
The Review Officer (Birmingham)
14th floor, Millbank Tower
Follow us on Twitter @LGBCE
Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/5688
Link to the dedicated web page for the Birmingham electoral review: www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/west-midlands/west-midlands/birmingham
For further information contact:
Press Office: 0330 500 1250 / 1525
Notes to editors:
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, as well as conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structures.
2. The Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Birmingham City Council following Lord Kerslake’s report on the governance and organisational capabilities of Birmingham City Council. The report recommended that an electoral review should be conducted ‘to help the council produce an effective model of representative governance.’
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
a. Do the proposed electoral wards reflect local communities?
b. How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?
c. Are the names of the proposed wards right?
4. Residents have from 10 May until 20 June 2016 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Birmingham should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in September 2016. 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 with the recommendations, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the city council elections in 2018.