Lawley to be key focus in Telford boundary review with future growth expected

The body redrawing Telford and Wrekin’s election map is “well aware” of future growth in Lawley and says the area will be a “key point” in its review.

The review will decide the boundaries for Telford & Wrekin Council's election map
The review will decide the boundaries for Telford & Wrekin Council's election map

Following a request from the council itself, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is consulting on the number of wards the borough should have, along with their shapes and names.

Mayor Amrik Jhawar pointed out that Lawley, which partially overlaps his ward, has “grown like a mushroom” but still has no named division of its own.

LGBCE review officer Tom Rutherford agreed that completed and planned home-building mean the area has a “massive number of projected new electors”.

Review lead commissioner Amanda Nobbs added that local information about how old and new communities relate to each other is “gold dust” when making boundary decisions.

They were speaking at an LGBCE briefing on the Telford and Wrekin review.

The LGBCE is in the second stage of its review.

In the first stage it considered the number of councillors and recommended maintaining the borough’s current number, 54.

The second stage will look at the number of wards, their boundaries and names and the number of councillors that should represent each.

Review and programme manager Alison Evison said there is “some flexibility” to change the overall number of councillors by one or two, “if that would provide for a better pattern of wards”.

Cllr Jhawar said: “I represent Ketley and Overdale and, as you can see, the Lawley area is part of my ward and it has grown like a mushroom. The same thing is happening in Horsehay and Lightmoor, there is a lot of development going on there.

“If we can look into creating one Lawley ward, so Ketley and Overdale and Horsehay and Lightmoor loses their excess parts, you can balance the situation.”

Mr Rutherford said: “We can’t take formal consultation submissions as part of this meeting but certainly the Lawley area is somewhere we are well aware of.

“In the development figures it has got a massive number of projected new electors going forward. It is obviously going to be a key point for this review.”

Ms Evison said: “If people articulate that to us with simple explanations about why those areas are communities, the more we will understand and the more we will build up a picture of where communities are.

“If we look at those areas on the map we might not be able to distinguish between those.

Ms Nobbs added: “Especially when there is new development planned, to get information on how people think those new electors are going to relate to existing communities is gold dust to us when we’re doing these reviews.”

The LGBCE review into Telford and Wrekin’s ward map lasts until Monday, August 2.

If adopted, the revised map would be used at the area’s next full local election in 2023.

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