Are council wards about to change in Bridgend?

There’s still a few weeks left to have your say on future reform councillors and council wards in Bridgend county.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales launched the consultation earlier this year and the deadline for submitting comments for the first phase is 25th April 2018.

Why are they doing this?

A number of consultation events have taken place with county and community councillors over the last few months and a trusted source provided me with some of the details.

  • The number of councillors in Bridgend county is set to be cut from 54 to 49 as part of Welsh Government guidelines.
  • The aim is for each councillor to represent as close to 2,181 electors as possible.
  • The existing electoral wards will be used as the building blocks, but this could mean changes to community council boundaries and wards too.
  • The ideal is for each ward to be represented by one councillor, but multi-member wards of up to 3 councillors will be considered; wards with more than 3 councillors will only be considered if they already exist and there’s evidence of local support (i.e. Brackla).

What will they take into consideration?

The Boundary Commission published a map showing how existing council wards differ from the 2,181 target and by how much (pdf). Those that differ massively from the target average are likely to be affected by any future ward changes.

Some of the factors which will be considered when drafting the future map include:

  • Community ties
  • Natural boundaries (i.e. rivers, mountains)
  • Man-made boundaries (i.e. roads, railways)

Any changes would come into effect for the next council elections, scheduled for May 2022 – though the recent resurrection of council merger proposals may well throw that up in the air.

What could happen?

The following is nothing more than an educated guess. The draft ward proposals won’t be revealed until later this year or early 2019.

Everyone can, however, use the ward variance statistics and map to get an idea of where councillors may be cut, where councillors may be gained and where wards might merge.

Wards that might be cut/merged with other wards

Bettws, Blaengarw, Bryncethin, Cefn Cribwr, Cefn Glas, Coychurch Lower, Felindre, Pendre, Llangeinor, Llangewydd & Brynhyfryd

Wards that might lose a councillor

Caerau, Morfa

Wards that might gain a councillor (either following a merger with another ward or within their current boundaries)

Bryntirion Laleston & Merthyr Mawr, Cornelly, Newton, Nottage, Porthcawl West Central, Ynysawdre

The details of the consultation are available here.

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