New ward boundaries have been proposed for Richmondshire as plans are drawn up to cut the number of councillors from 34 to 24.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has put forward draft proposals for new district council ward boundaries.
Every ward could change under the plans which would see one three-councillor ward, five two-councillor wards and eleven one-councillor wards created across the district.
This story continues after the adverts:
Richmondshire would have 17 wards, seven fewer than there are now if the draft report is agreed.
The commission asked for comments ahead of publishing its recommendations.
Richmondshire District Council had proposed 24 single councillor wards, however the commission says it does not favour this plan.
The commission has also rejected several of the district council’s recommendations for how the new wards should be made up.
This is a summary of the proposed changes:
Catterick & Brompton-on-Swale
The district council proposed splitting the parish of Catterick to provide a single-councillor Catterick Village ward. But the commission has stated that the Catterick parish cannot form either a single-councillor ward or a two-councillor ward if reasonable levels of electoral equality are to be achieved.
It said it also concluded that the council’s proposals to separate the Brough Meadows area of Catterick from the remainder of the village and to split the Peppermint Drive area from the adjoining parts of Colburn in order to form two single-member wards were not appropriate.
It said these both proposals would split the communities. Instead, it suggests a three-councillor Catterick and Brompton-on-Swale ward, which largely combines the current Catterick and Brompton-on-Swale and Scorton wards.
Richmond East, Richmond North and Richmond West
The council proposed a scheme of two single-councillor wards within
Richmond’s boundaries and three single-councillor wards combining parts of
Richmond with other parishes.
The parish councils for Hudswell, Skeeby and St Martin’s opposed the creation of wards which combined their areas with parts of Richmond, whilst Richmond Town Council proposed that there be four single member wards contained entirely within Richmond’s parish boundary.
Councillor Lorraine Hodgson also proposed that Richmond be warded within its boundaries but commented on the merits of two-councillor wards. Councillors Tony Duff and Geoffrey Linehan proposed two-member wards for Richmond Central and Richmond West and an additional single-member ward combining Richmond East with Skeeby.
The commission proposes the creation of single-councillor Richmond East and Richmond North wards and a two-councillor Richmond West ward. These wards would lie entirely within Richmond’s parish boundary.
The commission said it was not persuaded that Richmond West could be
satisfactorily divided into two single-councillor wards.
Colburn, Hipswell and Scotton
The district council proposed that this area be represented, in combination with other
parishes, in eight single-member wards. St Martin’s Parish Council argued that their
area should not be combined with parts of Richmond Town as proposed by the
District Council. Meanwhile, Colburn Parish Council proposed that the current three councillor ward, which has the same boundaries as the parish, should be retained.
With the proposed reduction of district councillors to 24, Colburn ward would have
14% fewer electors per councillor than the average for the district by 2023.
The commission said it was not prepared to recommend this degree of electoral inequality and therefore concluded that Colburn must be represented in at least two wards.
It is proposing three two member wards which broadly represent combinations of whole parishes, the exception being Colburn which cannot be represented in a single ward.
The Hipswell ward would include part of Colburn and the parish of St Martin’s and the Scotton ward would also include part of Colburn together with the parishes of Appleton East and West, Arrathorne, Hornby, Patrick Brompton and Tunstall.
The council proposed that the parishes forming the western part of this area be
combined in a ward with those to the north of the A66 whilst the parishes to the east
be combined with parts of Richmond. Councillors Duff and Linehan proposed a ward
similar to that which we recommend, but excluding Skeeby parish.
Skeeby Parish Council proposed that the parish be included in a Gilling West ward.
In making its draft recommendations the commission said it agreed with Skeeby Parish Council because its inclusion in a Richmond ward, as proposed by the council, would result in the creation of a detached ward. This would not provide for effective or convenient local government.
Croft, Melsonby and Middleton Tyas
The commission said it received proposals for single-councillor wards for this area from the district council and from Councillors Duff and Linehan. The council’s scheme for this area is dependent on its proposals for Gilling West and Richmond which, the commission said it was not prepared to recommend.
It therefore proposes to modify the Melsonby ward proposed by Councillors Duff and Linehan by excluding the parish of Cliffe.
That parish has a joint parish council with Manfield and the commission proposed that the two parishes be included in the same ward.
Its draft recommendations for the area to the east of Scotch Corner are for
two single-councillor wards, each comprising whole parishes.
Bolton Castle, Hawes & High Abbotside, Swaledale & Arkengarthdale and Yoredale
The council proposed a pattern of single-councillor wards including a Swaledale & Arkengarthdale ward which would extend from the district’s western boundary in Muker parish to Marske.
It also proposed five wards in a chain along Wensleydale extending from the district’s western boundary in High Abbotside parish to Hornby.
Councillor John Blackie proposed a scheme of four single-member wards for the
Upper Dales, covering the western part of the district.
The commission said a feature of Councillor Blackie’s proposal was the combination of upper Swaledale with upper Wensleydale, in his Hawes & High Abbotside ward.
He said these areas are connected by the Buttertubs Pass which crosses an area of moorland. In addition, Councillor Blackie proposed a Yoredale ward combining Bainbridge and Aysgarth.
He also proposed a Bolton Castle ward to the west of Leyburn and a Swaledale &
Arkengarthdale ward to the west of Richmond in Swaledale.
Melbecks Parish Council opposed that part of Councillor Blackie’s scheme which would include the parish in a Hawes & High Abbotside ward.
The parish council argued that it would be better placed in a ward with Arkengarthdale and Reeth parishes although doing so would leave the Hawes & High Abbotside ward with an electoral variance of 19% by 2023.
The commission said it was persuaded by the evidence of community identity received to recommend Councillor Blackie’s proposal and proposed Upper Swaledale should join with Upper Wensleydale, subject to one modification.
It proposed to include the parish of Melmerby in Bolton Castle ward as Melmerby provides the link between the parishes in the northern part of the ward with Carlton Highdale and Carlton Town in the south.
Leyburn and Lower Wensleydale
The district council proposed that Leyburn be divided between two single-member
wards, each taking in adjacent parishes.
Taking into account the observations the commission made on its visit to the area, it said we are not persuaded that the proposed split of Leyburn would lead to the best representation of that community. It therefore recommends a two-member Leyburn ward combining Leyburn with Middleham.
The council proposed a single-councillor Lower Wensleydale ward consisting
of 15 parishes.
The commission proposes a similar ward. However, whilst the Council would include the parishes of Appleton East and West, Arrathorne, Hornby, Patrick
Brompton and Tunstall, it proposes to include those parishes in our Scotton ward.
Instead, the commission proposed that East Witton, Spennithorne and Thornton Steward be part of the Lower Wensleydale ward.
An 11-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 15 January 2018.
The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Richmondshire.
To view a detailed map of the proposed ward boundaries click here.
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.
Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Richmondshire and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“Over the next eleven 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 Richmondshire 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.
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations for Richmondshire. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 15 January 2018.
The Review Officer (Richmondshire)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th floor, Millbank Tower
You can have your say directly through the commission’s consultation portal here.
Link to the dedicated web page for the Richmondshire electoral review is here.