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Elections shake-up will see changes to all but one of Norwich’s wards

Stuart McLaren. Photo: Bill Smith.

Stuart McLaren. Photo: Bill Smith.

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A proposed shake-up which would change the voting boundaries in Norwich has been finalised - and a community’s fears changes would split it in two have been allayed.

A map showing the Credit: Local Government Boundary Comission for England. Contains Ordnance Survey data (c) Crown copyright and database rights 2018A map showing the Credit: Local Government Boundary Comission for England. Contains Ordnance Survey data (c) Crown copyright and database rights 2018

The Independent Local Boundary Commission for England started a 10-week public consultation over its draft proposals for changes to Norwich City Council’s electoral wards in the summer.

The boundary said changes were needed to ensure each city councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. It has recommended changes in every council ward, with the exception of Catton Grove.

The number of city councillors would remain at 39, there would still be 13 wards, each served by three councillors and ward names would be unchanged.

But the commission said it had listened to what the public said during the course of the consultation - with changes made to the initial proposals.

Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Norwich who took part in the review.

“The Commission has looked at all the evidence that was put forward during the consultation.

“We believe these recommendations deliver electoral fairness for voters as well as reflecting community ties throughout Norwich.”

The St Augustine’s Community Together Residents’ Association had started a petition about a proposal for Mancroft ward, which would have seen some of them moved into Mile Cross and Sewell wards.

Stuart McLaren, secretary of the association had argued it would split the community in two.

The commission said there had been “strong evidence” put forward and changed the recommendations, so electors either side of St Augustine’s Street will remain within Mancroft ward.

Another change from the original recommendation is that voters in the Mount Pleasant area will switch from Town Close to Eaton ward.

And the area between Lakenham Way footpath and Hall Road will be part of Town Close ward. The commission had proposed it should be in Lakenham, but has changed tack.

The changes now need to be laid before Parliament, with the new changes coming into effect at the council’s elections in May next year.

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