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Boundary Commission performs U-turn on changes to Birmingham political map

Boundary Commission performs U-turn on changes to Birmingham political map

🕔10.May 2016

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has published extensive changes to controversial ward boundary proposals to redraw the political map of Birmingham.

After an outcry from residents and the main political parties, the commission has changed recommendations that would have re-designed ward boundaries and split local communities apart.

A six-week public consultation on the new recommendations begins today and will end on 20th June. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Birmingham.

Changes proposed by the commission include:

  • 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’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.

The commission’s changes to its proposed ward boundaries across the city are set out in its report and interactive maps which can be found on its website.

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