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30th Jun, 2022

Ward boundaries may need second review due to potential district merger

WARD boundaries in Stratford could be set for a shake up – depending on the outcome of the proposed South Warwickshire merger.

Following a review last year, The Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBCE) has published final recommendations for changes to Stratford District Council.

The body has concluded residents should be represented by 41 councillors – five more than current circumstances. This aims to make sure each councillor represents around the same number of electors – around 2,800.

If the recommendations go ahead, there will also be three more wards – bringing the total to 39 – and all but two ward boundaries will be changed.

Commission chair Professor Colin Mellors said the arrangements would guarantee electoral fairness while maintaining local ties.

Changes in response to what local people said include creating single councillor wards in the parishes of Bidford, Shipston, Sambourne and Studley and amended proposals for Stratford Shottery to avoid separating communities.

However, Stratford District Council (SDC) says proposals to merge Warwick and Stratford districts mean the changes may actually not go ahead.

SDC chief executive David Buckland has welcomed the recommendation to increase councillor numbers to address a voter imbalance but he added the revisions may never be implemented.

He said: “It is possible that these revised electoral arrangements may never be implemented.

“If the Government allows for the full merger between SDC and Warwick District Council, in line with our request by April 1 2024, it is probable that the Government would choose to defer the elections until May 2024.

“Under this scenario a further review would need to be undertaken by the LGBCE into the new electoral arrangements across the whole of South Warwickshire.”

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