PROPOSALS that would have seen Redditch electoral wards carved up into new and unfamiliar areas have been rejected by borough councillors.
The plans, put forward by council officers, were drive by the Boundary Commission and to reduce the number of councillors from 29 to 27, allotting three each to nine wards all serving roughly the same number of residents.
The proposals would have seen:
1) Astwood Bank & Feckenham ward taking on the southern part of Crabbs Cross.
2) West ward taking on a large proportion of Headless Cross.
3) To compensate Headless Cross & Oakenshaw would gain the what’s left of Crabbs Cross and the Throckmorton polling station of Greenlands.
4) The Woodrow section of Greenlands ward would join with Matchborough West while Matchborough East would join with Winyates East.
5) The remains of Lodge Park, the very west of Winyates and and the Ipsley remains of Matchborough would form a new Lakeside ward.
6) Church Hill ward and the north of Abbey ward would become a new North ward.
7) A section of Abbey ward would join Batchley & Brockhill, while the rest of it would be added to Central ward.
Speaking at last week’s full council meeting councillors pointed out that while commendable, cut across community ties in several districts.
Labour group leader Coun Joe Baker (Batchley & Brockhill) said: “Clearly I would have liked to see 30 councillors and ten wards as Redditch is an expanding town.
“My concern is that we are splitting up communities and putting some together with very little in common.
2We need to go back and look at this and return with a strong, viable option.”
Council Leader Matt Dormer agreed: “I too thought 10 wards a better option but that was not possible and we have had to stick to nine, and Redditch isn’t growing, it’s currently stable.
“I think there is additional work needed to ensure that community ties and identities are reflected in the proposals.”
Council agreed that no formal submission be made to the Boundary Commission based on the proposals before them.