Voters asked for views on redrawing political map in B&NES

Published on: 29 Dec 2017

Residents in Keynsham and Saltford are being asked for their views on plans to redraw the political map across Bath and North East Somerset.

As part of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s proposals, many voters in both communities would see changes that could affect the ward they live in and the councillors they vote for.

The commission has unveiled proposals following public consultation that would see the number of B&NES councillors reduced from 65 to 59 and the number of council wards reduced by one to 36.

A public consultation has begun and will run until February 19, with maps and the commission’s report available online and at council One-Stop Shops.

Saltford would see one of the biggest shake-ups, with the ward expanding to cover a greater area, taking in much of the current Farmborough ward to encompass Chewton Keynsham, Compton Dando, Queen Charlton and Corston, and the northern part of the current Bathavon West ward to include Newton St Loe. It would continue to be represented by two councillors.

The commission’s report on its proposed changes said: “Respondents argued that Saltford should not be combined with Keynsham but with the parishes of Corston, Compton Dando and Newton St Loe. We agree that this combination would reflect the character of the area and local community connections.”

Keynsham will retain its three wards, each represented by two councillors, but the boundaries between Keynsham North and Keynsham South will be shifted to balance out the number of voters in each, making Charlton Road and Sherwood Road the new dividing lines. Keynsham Town Council ward boundaries will also be affected but the number of councillors will stay the same at 15.

The aim of the boundary review is to tackle “electoral inequality” by balancing out the number of voters represented by each councillor, with the average being 2,257 voters per councillor under the proposals.

Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Bath and North East Somerset and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.

“Over the next eleven weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved. 

“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in 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 Bath and North East Somerset and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.

“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole council area or just part of it.”

To read the full report, view the maps and submit comments, visit www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-west/somerset/bath-and-north-east-somerset Click here to see the interactive map.

People can also send responses to The Review Officer (Bath and North East Somerset), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London, SW1P 4QP or by emailing reviews@lgbce.org.uk

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