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Boundary changes to save councils £173k as 36 councillors will go
BOUNDARY Commission bosses have agreed to axe 25 district councillors in southern Oxfordshire and 11 county councillors.
At Oxfordshire County Council the bill could be reduced by about £88,000.
In Didcot, a quarter of all district councillors will represent the town following changes which reflect its growing population.
The commission has agreed to axe 12 district councillors representing wards across South Oxfordshire. The decision followed eight weeks of public consultation. Instead of 48 councillors, there will be 36.
The Winterbrook area of Wallingford will now become part of a two-member Wallingford ward.
Cholsey parish council chairman Mark Gray said: “Two councillors instead of three will represent Cholsey and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, and Winterbrook is coming out of a Cholsey ward and going into a Wallingford ward. I don’t think that’s a good decision – there’s a historic link between Cholsey and Winterbrook going back to the Domesday Book.
David Buckle, joint chief executive of the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils, said Didcot would now have eight councillors representing it instead of nine.
“It’s entirely appropriate that Didcot will have a quarter of the total number as it is such a growth town, with thousands of new homes being built at Great Western Park,” said Mr Buckle.
The recommendations, which will come into force at the district council elections in May 2015, say the remaining councillors should represent four three-member wards, seven two-member wards and ten single-member wards across the district.
Didcot town council leader Margaret Davies, district councillor for Didcot Park ward, welcomed the ruling that East and West Hagbourne should be included in a ward with parishes to their east, instead of being linked with Didcot.
She said: “The Hagbournes wanted to retain their rural identity and, like a lot of villages, fear being swallowed up by Didcot.”
East Hagbourne parish council chairman, David Rickeard said: “We are pleased that the Boundary Commission has responded to local opinion.
“The Hagbournes will now be in a big ward with Cholsey, Moulsford, Brightwell, the Astons and the Moretons.”
Commission chairman Max Caller said: “We believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters.”
- Oxford City Council – 48 councillors. No plans to reduce the number at election in 2014.
- Vale of White Horse District Council – from May 2015, 38 councillors, 13 fewer.
- South Oxfordshire District Council – from May 2015, 36 councillors, 12 fewer.
- West Oxfordshire – 49 councillors. No plans to reduce the number at election in 2014.
- Cherwell – 50 councillors. No plans to reduce the number at election in 2014.
- Oxfordshire County Council – from May 2, 2013, 63 council seats up for election, down from 74.
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