Queen Edith’s to stay single!

New Queen Edith's county council divison

New Queen Edith’s county council divison

The Local Government Boundary Commission has made its final recommendations on the new county division boundaries – and Queen Edith’s is to stay as an independent division, and NOT be merged with Trumpington, despite their earlier recommendations.The new division will be larger than the current one, with  an estimated 8,342 electors compared to 7,694 now.

Queen Edith’s moves eastward, losing ground in the west and gaining some in the north and east. Part of Long Road, most of the western side of Hills Road, Luard Road and Close and Sedley Taylor Road will return to Trumpington, where they used to be before the last boundary changes; and parts of Cherry Hinton Road and its side roads will come into Queen Edith’s. Institution-wise, we will lose a hospital and a university college; we will gain a chalk pit, a caravan park, cinema and bowling alley.

They listened

The Commission had a change of heart after reading submissions from local people. Over 40 submissions opposed the proposal for a two-member Trumpington & Queen Edith’s division, plus several others who opposed double divisions in general. There was just one submission in favour of the merger. A big thank you to everybody who considered the recommendations and made submissions.

The Commission writes:

‘We have adopted the single-member divisions of Trumpington and Queen Edith’s, which take into account evidence received from local respondents that Trumpington and Queen Edith’s should be in separate divisions.

The majority of local residents in the Queen Edith’s area of Cambridge were opposed to our proposed two-member Trumpington & Queen Edith’s division. They preferred the division to be split into two single-member divisions. We have modified our recommendations and propose a single-member Queen Edith’s division. We consider this division effectively balances our three statutory criteria and it forms part of our final recommendations.’

The final step is for the recommendations to be put before parliament. Subject to parliamentary scrutiny the new boundary will come into force at the county council elections next May. City council and parliamentary boundaries remain the same until they too are reviewed.

Queen Edith’s being pushed eastwards!

QE red wardThe Boundary Commission has just published proposals for changes to the Cambridgeshire electoral divisions, as part of its periodic review. The Commission is charged with arranging the boundaries of the divisions so that they all have roughly the same ratio of electors per councillor. For example, at present, Cherry Hinton has 6,344 voters, while Market Ward in the city centre has 8,495. The new boundaries are intended to come into effect in 2017, when we next have Cambridgeshire County Council elections, so the figures take account of projected housing growth, eg the Bell School. The other factor is that the total number of councillors will be reduced from 69 to 61.

This review is for the county council elections and will not automatically change the Cambridge City Council ward boundaries, although the City Council may well follow suit so that people are in the same voting areas for all local elections. Who knows what impact it will have on a future parliamentary boundary review? Maybe there will be a chance to address the odd situation of Queen Edith’s having a different MP to the rest of Cambridge, but there are no guarantees.

Although Queen Edith’s is in between the two extremes with just over 7,000 voters, the proposal is to shift us eastward in order to get the numbers right on other wards which will have greater housing growth.

The Commission wants to move the odd side of Hills Road and everybody to its west into Trumpington, and to move parts of Cherry Hinton Road and streets leading off it into Queen Edith’s. Ironically, that would echo the ward boundaries before the last review. We’d lose Addenbrooke’s and Long Road Sixth Form College, but gain Hills Road Sixth Form College. Although the colleges don’t have any residents, it makes sense for the institutions that affect a community to be represented by the same councillor.

The Commission is also proposing to add the Greystoke Road area and the Cherry Hinton chalk pits – which have more of a Cherry Hinton feel to them than a Queen Edith’s one. It makes the ward a very strange shape. Here’s a map: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/4143

The Commission is inviting your comments up until 6th July.

Queen Edith’s still left out in the cold

The Boundary Commission has just published its latest proposals  for changing parliamentary constituency boundaries – but it is still ignoring local people’s requests to include Queen Edith’s in the City of Cambridge constituency. Although we’re represented by councillors on Cambridge City Council and pay our council tax to Cambridge, we are not like everyone else in Cambridge represented in Parliament by Julian Huppert , but by Andrew Lansley. Party politics and personal qualities aside, we have little in common with these villages.

The Boundary Review is charged with culling MPs from 533 to 502, and arranging the numbers of electors so that every MP represents a similar number – between 72,810 and 80,473 people. No constituency is allowed to be more than 5% above or below an electoral quota.

Like others in this area, I am dismayed that they are proposing to keep Queen Edith’s out of the city constituency – see previous post on this topic

They are proposing to move Queen Edith’s out of South Cambridgeshire – not into the city, but into another rural constituency, South East Cambridgeshire, where it will sit with places such as Soham and Bottisham. This is frustrating, especially as the Commission say they have ‘some sympathy’ with putting Queen Edith’s into the Cambridge constituency.

Their only justifications for not doing so are:

the main political parties agree with the initial proposals

Not entirely true, as the Liberal Democrats in this constituency at least wrote in asking for Queen Edith’s to go into the city) But why should the political parties’ views carry more weight than those of voters?

the counter-proposal was advanced by ‘a very small number of individuals’.

I do not know how many people have to advance a case for it to count, but I know of at least three Queen Edith’s people apart from myself who made representations – how many more there were I cannot tell as the representations section of the Commission’s website is labyrinthine!

You will have to excuse a certain scepticism about commenting on the revised proposals. If you still feel strongly that Queen Edith’s belongs in the city, then you have until 10th December to make a representation. If you want to help make the point, please do so – here is an online form: https://form.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/review-team/revised_proposals/consultation/intro/view

Here is my own: Boundary Commission representation_revised Mine is quite long, but you don’t have to write an essay: some of the comments on their site from the last round of consultation are just one or two sentences.

You can also email the Boundary Commission at: [email protected]

Please post a copy here, so we know the real number of people making representations.