Please find below a screen shot of the recommended changes to our electoral boundary by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), an independent body set up by Parliament, in respect of the county and district electoral divisions for our area.Here is a precis of their recommendations. You will find more detailed information at:
https://www.lgbce.org.uk/…/south-east/west-sussex/chichester.

Changes to democratic representation at Chichester District Council

The County electoral boundary changes also form part of an electoral review of Chichester District Council, following a request by CDC in order to consider a reduction in council size. This is in part because it has become increasingly difficult to find people to take on the mantle of Councillor against the headwinds of council-bashing that we all seem to indulge in these days.

The proposals are that CDC should:

  • comprise 36 councillors (12 fewer than now); 
  • have 21 wards (8 fewer than now); and that
  • the boundaries of ALL the existing wards should change.

The Commission has tried to ensure that: 

  • “The wards in the district of Chichester are in the best possible places to help the Council carry out its responsibilities effectively”
  • and that “The number of voters represented by each councillor is approximately the same across the district.”

Pages 8—15 of their document detail their draft recommendations for each area of Chichester and how the proposed warding arrangements reflect their three statutory criteria:

  • Equality of representation
  • Reflecting community interests and identities
  • Providing for effective and convenient local government

Their definitions of Community Identity is explored further at paragraph 64:

  • Community groups: is there a parish council, residents’ association or other group that represents the area?
  • Interests: what issues bind the community together or separate it from other parts of your area?
  • Identifiable boundaries: are there natural or constructed features which make strong boundaries for your proposals?”
wgra-boundary

This map was published by the  Boundaries Commission on 16 August and its final recommendations will now be laid before Parliament and, subject to parliamentary scrutiny, will take effect from the May 2017 elections.

A new boundary line for Westgate

Encouraged by the community identity statement of the LGBCE reproduced above, your committee presented the argument that it might be more cohesive for the electoral boundary to follow the course of the Lavant to the south of our area and then along the back fences of the properties rather than down the middle of the road.
The Commission have listened. As you will see all of the area covered by WGRA now falls within Chichester West Ward, in line with the Boundary Commission’s wish not to divide communities where the old boundaries used to go down the middle of the road. This means that we now have the same councillors as some of Orchard St and all of Parklands RAs, which helps us in our campaign to get sensible decisions made about the A27 and the  Whitehouse Farm development.

Don’t like what you read/see?

LGBCE welcomes “all comments on these draft recommendations, particularly on the location of the ward boundaries, and the names of our proposed wards.” If you have problems with any of these decisions you have a week or so to respond. LGBCE has been
consulting on their draft recommendations since 16 August 2016 and this runs until 10 October 2016.  Hurry, hurry.

Colin Hicks

Webmaster, Westgate Residents' Association Chichester

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