The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has announced the final recommendations for ward boundary changes in Nottingham. The new ward will come into force in the May 2019 City Council elections.
The full report and map are available at https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/east-midlands/nottinghamshire/nottingham, however, a summary is below.
The Commission changed its initial recommendation for separate City and The Park wards. Feedback during consultation suggested that many people living in the proposed The Park ward used facilities and amenities in the city centre and that the two areas should be combined into a single ward. The Commission found the local evidence to join the two areas together persuasive and now proposes a two-councillor ward to cover the central part of Nottingham. The ward will be called Castle.
These are the pertinent sections (paraphrased) from the detailed full report:
58. The Conservatives and five other submissions supported a City ward, arguing that the city centre is very different to its surrounding communities and therefore has very different needs and interests. Most residents in City live in apartments surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars and offices. This is unique in Nottingham and the proposals reflected that.
59. The Conservatives and 31 other submissions supported The Park ward, arguing that it reflected the community and did not dilute the voice of the Park Estate by merging it with any of its neighbouring communities.
60. The Council and 30 other submissions objected to either a City or The Park wards, with most of the residents writing in support of the Council’s alternative proposal, which was to combine the two wards. The submissions pointed out that the Park Estate itself is purely residential and that the people who live there primarily use shops and social facilities in the city centre. In addition, by the Council’s estimate, only 55% of The Park’s electorate live in the Park Estate itself. People living in flats on The Ropewalk or Castle Boulevard in ‘The Park’ ward saw themselves as city centre residents and did not identify with the Park Estate in any way.
64. Regarding City and The Park, the Commission received some evidence to support retaining City as a single-councillor ward. However, they considered that the evidence for combining City with The Park was stronger: “While it is very clear that the Park Estate is a separate residential area, it is not a self-contained unit, as residents need to leave the Estate to access any services. In addition, the Estate itself is too small for a ward on its own and the areas we included with it, such as The Ropewalk and Castle Boulevard, appear to be an extension of the city centre. Using Maid Marian Way as a boundary would split them from their natural community. Therefore, as part of our final recommendations we are proposing to combine our City and The Park wards into a two-councillor ward called ‘Castle’, as proposed by the Council.”