New wards for Bedford Borough Council
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission has reviewed Bedford to make sure councillors represent about the same number of electors, and that ward arrangements will help the council work effectively.
The Commission has published its final recommendations for changes in Bedford. It says residents should be represented by 46 councillors. This is six more than current arrangements.
There will be 28 wards: thirteen single-councillor wards, twelve two-councillor wards, and three three-councillor wards. This is one more ward than there are now.
The boundaries of all but one ward have been changed in the final recommendations.
Publishing the recommendations Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the Commission, said:
“We are very grateful to people in Bedford. We looked at all the views they gave us. They helped us improve our earlier proposals.
“We believe the new arrangements will guarantee electoral fairness while maintaining local ties.”
497 submissions from residents and organisations helped decide the new wards. Changes in response to what local people said include:
- Only the area of Elstow parish north of the A5134 West End/Progress Way has been included in Cauldwell ward – meaning the entire conservation area is within the rural Wixams & Wilstead ward
- Knotting & Souldrop parish has been included in Sharnbrook ward, rather than Riseley ward
The Commission has made further changes to its earlier proposals. Details can be found on its website.
Parliament now needs to agree the changes. The new arrangements will then apply for the 2023 council elections.