Draft proposals for new council ward boundaries in Lichfield and Burntwood have been release.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has proposed reducing the number of councillors from 56 to 47.
This will mean reshaping the current ward boundaries to allow for:
- Five single member wards: Colton & The Ridwares, Longdon, Mease Valley, Bourne Vale, Shenstone.
- Nine two member wards: Boley Park, Chadsmead, Curborough, Chase Terrace, Chasetown, Highfield, Fazeley, Hammerwich with Wall, Little Aston & Stonnall.
- Eight three member wards: Leomansley, St John’s, Stowe, Boney Hay & Central, Summerfield & All Saints, Alrewas & Fradley, Armitage with Handsacre, Whittington & Streethay.
If approved, the changes would see each councillor represent an average of 1,880 residents in 2019, instead of the current average of 1,727.
Lichfield District council had wanted to keep the current number of representatives.
But the LGBCE said this would have left the local authority bloated in comparison with others.
The new draft report says: “When compared with the ongoing reviews in similar authorities, retention of 56 councillors for Lichfield would leave it out of range when compared to those authorities.
“We have therefore adopted a council size of 47 as part of our draft recommendations, which we consider would provide for a potential pattern of wards that could deliver fair representation for electors in the urban and rural parts of the district.”
The LGBCE’s new suggestions are based on a mix of the new ward boundaries drawn up by Lichfield District Council and those submitted by the opposition Labour group.
“We have then made some modifications to provide good electoral equality while reflecting community identities and transport links in the district,” the report added.
A consultation on the new proposals will now run until July 28 before the future shape of ward boundaries in Lichfield and Burntwood are confirmed.
Max Caller CBE, chair of the LGBCE, said: “Over the next 11 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 Lichfield 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 district or just part of it.