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Community Governance Review: Second Stage Consultation - Ward boundaries within Bishop's Stortford Town Council

East Herts Council has published draft recommendations for minor changes to the boundaries between wards within Bishop's Stortford Town Council, to take effect from the town council elections in May 2019. We need to know your views before a final decision is made.

Have your say on the proposed changes to the ward boundaries within Bishop's Stortford Town Council by using our online form that can be found on this page.

What changes are being proposed?

The council's draft recommendations are that:-

  • The boundaries between wards within Bishop's Stortford Town Council should be adjusted to give effect to the changes listed in the table below. Note: Eighteen separate minor changes to ward boundaries are proposed and maps illustrating each of these may be viewed in the following  Bishop's Stortford proposed ward changes - maps [6MB]  pdf.  A total of approximately 450 properties, currently housing about 850 electors, are included in the proposals across the eighteen locations.

  • The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) should be asked to change the district council ward and county council division boundaries to align them with the revised town council ward boundaries proposed above.

Why is the review being undertaken at this time?

The changes are being proposed as part of a Community Governance Review of Bishop's Stortford Town Council. This is a legal process which can result in changes to town and parish areas or electoral arrangements to represent local communities.

East Herts Council agreed to conduct the review following a request from Bishop's Stortford Town Council. The town council proposed the detailed changes to ward boundaries within the town to address perceived anomalies arising from new or infill developments, such as roads split between two or more wards or where access is from a different ward.

The town council also proposed a significant change to the parish boundary between Bishop's Stortford and Thorley Parish to the south - please note that this is the subject of a separate consultation at Community Governance Review: Second stage consultation - Parish boundary between Bishop's Stortford and Thorley

The criteria for making recommendations

In carrying out this review, the council must consult local electors and other interested parties. Statutory guidance sets out the criteria to be used when arriving at recommendations. Community governance arrangements should be:-

  • reflective of the identities and interests of the community in the area; and

  • effective and convenient

When considering these, councils must take into account the impact on community cohesion; and the size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish. They must also consider the number of electors in the area(s) under review and any change in that number which is likely to occur in the next five years.

Consultation and the reasons for the Council's recommendations

A first round of public consultation on the town council's proposal was held between February and April 2018. East Herts Council considered the results on 16 May 2018. Twelve responses were received about the detailed ward boundary proposals. Of these, one respondent opposed the changes and four stated 'no comment' or similar. The other seven respondents were broadly supportive of the changes.

In considering whether or not the proposal from the town council should be recommended, the council took into account the responses received to the consultation, the LGBCE's guidance on community governance reviews, geographical data, electorate projections and the recommendations of the Executive which in turn were informed by the comments of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. 

The council considered that the proposals address anomalies that have arisen in the main due to new or infill development across the existing ward boundaries and that they have the potential to provide practical and convenient arrangements for electors. The net effect of the proposed changes on electoral equality between the wards would be relatively minor. Currently the average number of electors per town councillor across all five Bishop's Stortford wards is 1, 599. Central ward currently has the highest ratio at 1,870 and Silverleys ward the lowest at 1,399. The changes would slightly reduce the ratio for Central ward and slightly increase that for Silverleys ward, thereby improving equality by a small margin overall.

The council recommended that the changes below should be made. You have until 27 July 2018 to comment on these:-

1. Changes to roads which have residents in more than one ward: Boundaries to be re-drawn so that all properties are in the ward which currently has the largest number of electors:

Street/Road

Current Properties

Proposed Properties

Collins Cross

All Saints: 13, Meads: 37

Meads: 50

High Street

Central: 3, Meads: 1

Central: 4

Parsonage Lane

All Saints: 70, Meads: 2

All Saints: 72

Wentworth Drive

Central: 6, Silverleys: 72

Silverleys: 78

Westfield Road

Meads: 19, Silverleys: 4

Meads: 23

Dane O'coys Road, Whitehall Road

Meads: 3, Silverleys: 20

Silverleys: 23

Great Hadham Road (Honeysuckle House)

Silverleys: 2, South: 1

Silverleys: 3

Lea Grove

All Saints: 8, Meads: 5

All Saints: 13

South Road

Central: 40, South: 5

Central: 45

South Street

Central: 26, Meads: 11

Central: 37

Potter Street

Central: 1, Meads: 3

Meads: 4

2. Changes to roads which have residents in more than one ward: Boundaries to be re-drawn so that the road(s) are in the ward from which access is gained or for some other reason as noted:

Street

Current

Proposed

Note

Bells Hill, Regency

Close, Windhill

Meads: 35

Silverleys: 73

Silverleys: 108

Bells Hill & Windhill are split; Regency Close is accessed

from Bells Hill.

Styleman's Farm

(Hallingbury Road)

South: 2

All Saints: 2

Properties are separated from South ward by the River Stort. Access is from All Saints

Mulberry Court

South: 16

Central: 16

Access is from Central Ward

The Thatchers, Stockmen Field, Drovers Way, Wainwright Street, Brewers Close, Thresher Close, The Carpenters, Tailors

Central: 224

South: 119

South: 343

Several roads in this natural group are split. Access is from South Ward

Tanners Wharf

All Saints: 76

Central: 19

South: 10

Central: 105

Access is from Central Ward

Priory Court

Silverleys: 35

Central: 35

'Backland' development from the Monastery estate. Access is from Central Ward

Thorley Hill

Central: 28

South: 54

Central: 26

South: 56

Change boundary so that split is at a natural point (a road)

District and county council ward/division boundaries - Any changes to parish boundaries agreed as part of the Community Governance Review will not automatically change the equivalent boundaries for District or County Council elections. In order to maintain consistency the council recommends that the LGBCE should be asked to change the relevant District Ward and County Division boundaries to align them with the revised parish boundaries above.

Maps

Please see the attached pdf for the map of  the proposed changes. The map below shows the existing town council ward boundaries within Bishop's Stortford.

Existing Ward Boundaries Bishop's Stortford [270KB]

How would residents be affected by the proposed changes?

Parish and town councils are the most local tier of government in England. They play an important role in empowering their communities, may comment on planning applications and manage or provide services at the local level.

The review could result in changes to ward boundaries within the town. If these are confirmed, starting with the town council elections in May 2019 residents some residents would vote for town councillors to represent them in a different town council ward.

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS - tell us what you think of the proposed changes

Please tell us what you think about the proposed changes by Friday July 27 2018. East Herts Council will consider all submissions received before making a final decision in October 2018.

How to have your say

You can provide your views on the matters in this leaflet or raise any queries by: