The Local Government Boundary Comission has just finished a review of the Gloucester County Council electoral boundaries in order to reduce the number of councillors by 2. This has some rather interesting outcomes over the city, of which I will go over in due time, but the immediately interesting things for me is what is happening in Kingsway and Quedgeley. Currently Quedgeley is a County Ward and is served by 2 County Councillors and one of the main aims was to cull the 2 member wards to only have 1 member each, and make all wards around 9000 electors.
Firstly Kingsway will not be part of the Quedgeley County Council area, it will form a new area with Grange and Copeland Park. See this PDF Map, but note it is very large. This, when you look at the map does have some merit, using the A38 as a natural barrier to the left, and running up.
The second interesting thing is that it is suggested that the Parish Council restructures itself and has 4 wards, comprising Quedgeley Severn Vale, Quedgeley Central (what was The Quedgeley part of Quedgeley Fieldcourt), Quedgeley Fieldcourt (which is Kingsway) and Quedgeley Brook (which is Copeland Park). These wards would have appropriate numbers of representatives.
We need to look at this with a long-term view, because as this review has split wards and areas, it will almost defiantly trigger a City Boundary review to make the city wards match the county wards. This would make a lot of sence to make it easier to understand. Right now Kingsway will be in a bit of a weird place when these plans come in, as we will have Quedgeley Fieldcourt City Councillors but a Grange County councillor, with Parish Councillors saddling the two. This could lead to a whole disparity between the understanding of the ward, especially with regards to growth and the alignment between City, County and Parish delivered services.
So this could easily lead to Kingsway and Copeland Park being put with Grange in some way for City elections to correlate those boundaries. It has been suggested before that Kingsway and Copeland Park should form its own Town/Parish council, I wasn’t convinced at the time, but this could add more weight to that argument if it goes through. These are all the things we need to think about, in some ways it will shake things up and provide opportunities, but in others it may sever some well established links.
There is now a second consultation period, of which I will aim to contribute Kingsway thoughts to (having just hastily added it to the agenda of the Public meeting next week). This will last 10 weeks and it will be interesting to have other peoples views on the pros and cons of this solution, and what other things could/will need to be done to make it work. Even at a really basic level I would suggest that the Ward names are not right and can be made sensible. (Such as calling the county ward Lower Tuffley and Kingsway, and maybe the Parish Wards Quedgeley Severn Vale, Quedgeley Fieldcourt, Kingsway and Copeland Park).
Feel fee to comment with your thoughts and I can include them into the response in some way.