New Council branches could be set up under the latest proposals to reshape Stockport’s political maps.
Recommendations made by the Boundary Commission would see Stepping Hill replaced by a new Norbury branch, while there would also be ‘significantly different’ arrangements for Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme.
This comes after the Commission held a 10-week hearing on new frontiers earlier this year – the first exercise of its kind since 2003.
READ MORE: Hope new digital map will get more people involved in preparing the district’s long-term plan
The goal is to ensure that city councilors represent roughly the same number of voters – known as “electoral equality” – and congregations reflect community ties and identities.
The final recommendations to Parliament are expected to be published in March 2023.
But first, the commission will hear what Stopfordians think about their draft recommendations based on responses to the initial consultation.
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Professor Colin Mellors, President of the Commission, said:
“We want people in Stockport to help us.
“We have prepared proposals for new departments in Stockport. We want to ensure that these new electoral systems reflect local communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for the locals.
“Residents and local organizations can help us with that. We would like them to let us know if they agree with our proposal before we take [our] final decisions. “
Stockport will still have 21 departments each represented by three city council members – a total of 63 elected members.
But 16 departments get their boundaries changed, while five remain the same.
The biggest change appears to be the creation of a new Norbury branch due to ‘opposition to the existing Stepping Hill branch’, which emerged from the public consultation.
According to the commission’s report, the residents claimed that the ward did not represent any particular communities and instead consisted of “separate areas that have poor internal access roads where the ward is divided by two railway lines”.
The independent body agreed that the Stepping Hill department, which did not “adequately reflect the identities of the local community”, decided to develop an alternative residence pattern for the area, based on a local resident’s proposal.
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The proposed new Norbury ward will be bounded by Bramhall Lane South to the east, Lady Brook to the south and the city boundary to the west, forming “a cohesive ward with clear boundaries that will be recognizable to local voters.”
It would also be bounded by the Buxton railway line to the north, meaning that it would include a substantial part of the current Hazel Grove division. The Commission also proposes to include the Bosden Farm area in Hazel Grove.
It’s in the western part of the borough – ‘The Cheadles’ and Gatley, where the other major changes are being proposed.
At present, these areas are represented by four divisions: Cheadle and Gatley, Cheadle Hulme North, Cheadle Hulme South and Edgeley and Cheadle Heath.
However, according to the draft recommendations, Cheadle Heath would be separated from Edgeley and included in a new Cheadle East and Cheadle Heath department.
The Commission considered that Cheadle Heath shared ‘stronger community relations with the larger Cheadle community’ than with Edgeley.
The railway line would separate the two departments and ‘represent a clear and identifiable boundary’.
Cheadle Hulme would become a unified congregation bounded by Micker Brook to the north and Church Road, Hulme Hall Road and Cheadle Hulme School to the south.
The Commission considers that the creek represents a ‘clear and identifiable boundary’ between the Cheadle Hulme and the Cheadle and Cheadle Heath communities.
However, it has included Crossefield Road and Meadway Road in Cheadle East and Cheadle Heath ward to achieve good choice across wards.
The Commission also proposes to transfer Belfry Close, Woburn Grove and Wentworth Drive from the current Cheadle and Gatley section to the proposed Cheadle Hulme section to reflect Old Wool Lane access routes.
A new Cheadle West and Gatley ward would then be created – renamed to provide a clear distinction between East and West Cheadle.
The Commission encourages people to ‘intervene’ and make their voices heard before any plan is finalized.
The Commission has a dedicated section on its website where people can see the full details of the proposals and comment on the names of congregations and their boundaries. https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/27795
People can also give their opinion via email at email@example.com or write to:
Review Officer (Stockport)
PO Box 133
The current consultation ends on January 10, 2022.
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