Agenda item

Local Government Boundary Commission for England Draft Proposals for Rushcliffe

The report of the Chief Executive is attached.


The Leader and Portfolio Holder for Strategic and Borough Wide Leadership, Councillor Robinson presented the report of the Chief Executive, which asked Council to consider the comments made by Councillors contained in the draft response to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) consultation and approve the document before it was presented to the LGBCE.


Councillor Robinson noted the following recommendations by the LGBCE:


· Council to stay at 44 Councillors

· 21 new wards – four fewer than there are now

· More multi-member wards than currently

· Boundaries of most wards changing (three stay the same)

· Names of some wards changing

· Two town / parish councils affected (Bingham and Radcliffe)


Councillor Robinson noted the recommendation outlined in the draft response that the LGBCE should visit both Bingham and the existing Trent Bridge and Lady Bay wards in light of the comments made by Councillors regarding their proposals. It was accepted that Covid-19 had made it difficult for the LGBCE to undertake onsite visits during the earlier stages of consultation; however, visits were now recommended in order for the LGBCE to gain a better understanding of the diversity of community identity between very different but geographically coterminous areas.


Councillor Brennan seconded the recommendations in the report and noted that the majority of the Council’s wards had grown significantly in the past couple of years and agreed with the Leader’s comments that the LGBCE needed to visit communities such as Tollerton and Lady Bay.


Councillor J Walker supported the recommendations in the report and thanked the LGBCE, officers and Councillors for their work. Councillor Walker referred to comments made by Councillors relating to the increased number of multi-member wards and she stated that three member wards would lead to a lack of representation in the Council Chamber and that the Labour Group would prefer a maximum of two Councillors per ward.


Councillor Jones supported the recommendations but was disappointed that the LGBCE did not respond to the Council’s request of increasing the number of Councillors in Rushcliffe to 46.


Councillor R Mallender noted that the recommendations of the LGBCE did not reflect the reality of future development for Rushcliffe over the next few years.


Councillor Gowland noted that despite the report stating that there was general consensus that multi-member wards worked well in non-parished or suburban areas, she did not agree with this and believed that they were also undemocratic in non-parished areas such as West Bridgford.


Councillor R Walker stated that he had worked with Councillor Barney and the parish councils affected by the proposed Barton in Fabis and Soar Valley wards and it was noted that their comments reflected a clear consensus on a desired way forward, with an alternative suggestion being put forward to the LGBCE’s draft recommendation.  The alternative suggestion was broadly in line with the current text of the Council’s draft response, namely the retention of the existing Gotham ward boundaries, with the Sutton Bonington ward having both Normanton and Stanford on Soar being added to it.  However, the report referred to Gotham being a single member ward, which would lead to the Borough having only 43 Councillors, and in light of the agreement of all the parishes, it was hoped that the Council’s response could be amended to reflect the need for an additional Councillor in the Gotham ward. 


Councillor Purdue-Horan was disappointed to see the abolishment of the Bingham East and Bingham West wards but agreed that a proposed Bingham North and Bingham South ward was the logical attempt to combine the communities of Bingham. Councillor Purdue-Horan did raise objections to the creation of an enormous East Bridgford ward and the Aslockton and Cropwell ward as a multi-member ward. He commented that the existing Cramner ward already had a strong community and that a multi-member ward would not work in the rural areas covering existing parts of the Thoroton, Cramner, Radcliffe on Trent ward and the whole of the Cropwell ward.


Councillor Barney endorsed the statements of Councillor R Walker and was pleased that all of the parish councils involved supported the recommendations made by Councillor R Walker.


It was proposed by Councillor Robinson and seconded by Councillor Brennan  and RESOLVED that:


a)     the draft response to the second stage of the LGBCE consultation be approved; and


b)     officers be instructed to submit the document on the Council’s behalf.

Supporting documents: