Wards could change at next elections in 2015

WARWICK Gates near Whitnash and the Chase Meadow housing estate in Warwick could become new electoral wards as part of a district-wide review.

Of the 20 electoral wards in Warwick district 30 per cent have at least ten per cent more voters than the area’s average number, which is 4,819.

As a result the Local Government Boundary Commission for England has decided that an electoral review of Warwick District Council will take place, with a 12-week public consultation due to start at the end of the year.

The purpose of the review will be to ensure within each ward the number of electors represented by each councillor will be roughly the same.

Gill Friar, the council’s electoral services manager, said: “It will look at the district as a blank slate then look at wards with cross-party consultation.

“One thing which has to be looked at is the size of the council to decide how many councillors is right for Warwick district.

“It’s something that happens every ten to 12 years with every council.”

District councillors and commission representatives met in 2009 to discuss areas for review.

Warwick District currently has 46 councillors across its 20 wards with 15 having more than one councillor.

Part of the review would consider having all single-member wards.

At present, Warwick Gates is split over three district or town wards but consideration will be given as to whether it could be better represented within one district ward.

Cllr Bernard Kirton (Ind, Whitnash) said: “That’s a view that was put forward at the time but a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

“We have put a lot of effort into the Whitnash part of Warwick Gates and as far as we are concerned it is part of our community and we wouldn’t be happy to give that up.

“It may well be considered but a lot of people in the area send their children to schools in Whitnash and parents are members of the PTAs, they are part of the community and it would be like starting from scratch.”

The Bishops Tachbrook ward could also merge with Budbrooke while Chase Meadow could become a new district and parish ward.

Political group leaders have previously suggested it would be preferable to have both district wards and county electoral divisions covering the same areas as the two-member North Leamington ward is not ideal.

A working party, made up of one member from each political group has been formed to oversee the various stages of the review.

These include the initial consultation, in which people are invited to make proposals on future electoral arrangements, the publication of draft recommendations and a 12-week consultation on these.

The entire process would last no more than a year, providing time for new arrangements to be made in advance of when they are implemented at the next district council elections in 2015.

The review is expected to cost the council £34,700.

Related topics: