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Lib Dems’ proposal for new Wash Common ward accepted by Boundary Commission

August 31, 2017 8:19 PM
By Tony Vickers
Originally published by Newbury & West Berkshire Liberal Democrats

Shock as Commission scraps Council's proposals.

2017 boundary proposal map west berkshire

Local Liberal Democrats are studying the draft recommendations for new District Council wards in West Berkshire carefully, having made their own proposals in July. Hardly any of the proposals of either the Council itself or the Lib Dems have been adopted by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), published on 29 August.

Only one ward - Theale, held by Lib Dem Alan Macro - is unchanged from now, as the size of the Council is cut from 52 to 43 members and new growth areas such as Greenham & Newbury Racecourse are accommodated and future growth is anticipated to focus on only a few other areas.

"We are pleased that the Commission has accepted the Lib Dem proposal for a Wash Common ward", said local Lib Dem Chair Dr Tony Vickers. "However we are surprised that they recommend it has two councillors from 2019 when there is no prospect of any new homes on Sandleford by then. We think it should be a single member ward until most of this site is occupied - if that ever happens!"

"Our proposals ignore party politics and simply seek to meet the statutory requirements as best as we can. The job has been made much harder for everyone by the chaos caused by Sandleford's lack of progress blowing a hole in the Local Plan. We have little faith in the forecast electorates in several wards for 2023 - when the next review is due - because nobody really knows where new homes will be built over coming years."

Comments must be sent to LGBCE by 6th November but Lib Dems are happy to help frame a coordinated response, via their Facebook page or this website or by email to office@wbld.org.uk .