New electoral wards proposed in Worcester

Aerial View of River Severn and Worcester Cathedral.

Worcester City Council has proposed that the city's largest electoral area is split in two, as part of its response to a public consultation on the city's electoral arrangements.

The city is currently divided into 15 electoral areas, known as "wards", with each of them electing either two or three councillors to Worcester City Council.

The current arrangements have not been reviewed for 20 years, and now the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is looking at the City Council's wards.

The LGBCE is asking local residents and groups to help it draw up proposals for new wards, to make sure that councillors represent roughly the same number of electors and that the wards reflect local communities. It wants wards to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.

This phase of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England consultation is open to everyone until 25 July.

The City Council has now agreed its own response to the consultation and is proposing the existing Cathedral ward – which has the largest population of all the city's wards - be split into two.

The proposed new wards would be called the City Centre and Fort Royal wards. Each ward would have two councillors. 55 properties in Lark Hill and Perry Wood Walk that are currently in the Nunnery ward would be included in the Fort Royal ward under the proposals.

The City Council is also proposing that some minor changes to the boundary between the wards of Warndon Parish North and Warndon Parish South are made, to create a better balance in population sizes. This would mean 54 properties being moved from the South ward into the North one.

The only other change the City Council is proposing is for a small number of properties in the south of the St Stephen ward to be moved to the Rainbow Hill ward, as they are separated from the rest of the former ward by the 68-hectare Astwood Cemetery.

These proposals have been unanimously approved by the City Council, and follow the recent decision to move to all-out elections from 2024. The Council's submission to the LGBCE also includes options for other related issues, including minor issues with the size of electorate in other wards.

Individual councillors and political parties are also able to make their own submissions to the LGBCE consultation, as are any Worcester residents, as the LGBCE is particularly interested to hear about local people's own community identity.

The LGBCE will use the input of local people and organisations to help it draw up proposals for new wards and, in some cases, new ward names. It will then ask local people and groups what they think about the proposals before making firm recommendations. Any changes that are agreed will come into force for the Worcester City Council elections in 2024.

Find further information about the Local Government Boundary Commission for England's review of Worcester

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