People power wins day as Garstang remains united on electoral map

Garstang - united!
Garstang - united!

The Local Government Boundary Commission has bowed to local opinion - to keep Garstang united.

The electoral map for Lancashire County Council has just been withdrawn. Details were published this week with the Commission announcing it had amended its own draft proposals to ensure the town of Garstang is not split between two divisions.

Voters in Nateby will now be placed in the new Wyre Rural East division, rather than the new Wyre Rural Central division.

Meanwhile in another change for Wyre the parish of Myerscough and Bilsborrow will become part of a Wyre Rural East division.

The extensive boundary shake-ups, designed to reflect shifts in population and new housebuilding, are intended to ensure each councillor represents around 11,000 voters.

The changes will need parliamentary approval before they are introduced in time for the 2017 county council elections.

Overall the council will retain 84 councillors with 80 single-member electoral divisions and two two-member electoral divisions.

Preston will have nine wards instead if its current 10. In Ribble Valley the parishes of Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley will be contained within the Ribble Valley North East division.

The changes have brought a mixed reaction from councillors. Labour Coun David Borrow, Deputy Leader of the County Council said: “The numbers in each councillor’s area is much more equal than now and that’s an important thing for democracy. I expect local parties - as soon as (the local May) elections are over - will want to start putting selection procedures in place to get new candidates in place for the new boundaries.”