Shropshire Star

Big changes as plans to redraw almost all Shropshire Council boundaries revealed

Proposals to re-draw almost all of Shropshire Council’s ward boundaries have been unveiled.

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The proposals would represent major changes to the council's electoral boundaries

Draft maps published reveal how borders will shift to recognise areas that have seen huge population growth since the current 63 wards were created, along with the council itself, in 2009.

The proposals from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) also account for expected growth in the coming years from the creation of new settlements at Tasley and the former Ironbridge Power Station site.

A consultation on the proposals is open until July, with the changes to be finalised later this year. The changes will take effect at the 2025 local elections.

The new unitary authority boundaries aim to even out disparity in the number of electors per ward, with each councillor to represent 3,594 voters, with a tolerance of 10 per cent either way, based on 2028 predictions.

The LGBCE has already decided the council should continue to have 74 elected members, and, as per a formal request from the council, attempted to split the county into 74 single-member wards.

There were only two areas where this could not be achieved, with the draft proposals putting forward 70 single-member wards and two which it says should have two councillors.

More information on the consultation can be found at

The biggest changes are in the Shifnal area, which the LGBCE describes as having “very poor electoral equality”.

Currently two councillors serve the town and surrounding rural areas including Sheriffhales and Cosford, but they each represent far more residents than the county average due to rapid housebuilding in recent years.

Under the proposals, two dedicated wards would be created to serve Shifnal itself, with Albrighton ward also closing in more tightly on the village.

The surrounding areas would come under a new division, named Shifnal Rural, which would also take in part of the current Worfield division.

Meanwhile, the Severn Valley division is to shrink geographically, in anticipation of an influx of new residents at the Ironbridge Power Station site development, with Kenley, Harley and Hughley moving to Much Wenlock.

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Alveley and Claverley division is proposed to split, with the latter joining with Worfield. Alveley will come under a new Bridgnorth Rural division, which will also take in Quatford and Quatt.

Bridgnorth itself will also see changes, with the town to be divided into Bridgnorth West and Tasley, Bridgnorth Castle and Bridgnorth East. Astley Abbotts, currently joined with Bridgnorth East in a two-member ward, will instead come under Brown Clee.

Cleobury Mortimer, which currently has two councillors, is proposed to split. One ward will cover the town and rural areas to the south and west down to the Worcestershire boundary, including part of the current Clee division.

Rural areas to the north of Cleobury Mortimer will come under the newly named Stottesdon ward, while the Highley ward will also be enlarged.

Only minor changes are proposed in Ludlow, with the boundary between the town’s East and South wards adjusted to even out the number of voters.

The current two-member ward of Church Stretton and Craven Arms will be severed, with each town and its hinterlands to get a dedicated councillor. The ward covering the Church Stretton area will be named Strettondale.

Chirbury and Worthen, which currently has too few electors, is set to expand to take in Westbury, which is currently in the Loton division.

The draft plans see the county’s only three-member division – Bayston Hill, Column and Sutton – abolished.

Bayston Hill will join with most of the current Burnell division to form a new, two-member ward called Burnell and Bayston Hill. To even out the numbers, Burnell is set to lose Pulverbatch to the Bishop’s Castle division, and the Cardington area to Corvedale ward.

Column and Sutton will have one councillor, but areas at the north of the ward will move into Abbey. In the middle, a new ward called Otley and Reabrook is to be created, also served by one councillor.

Only minor changes are proposed for the rest of Shrewsbury, though Bowbrook is proposed to expand and be renamed Bicton Heath.

The LGBCE report says: “However, we retain an open mind, and welcome views on both the name Bicton Heath and Bowbrook or a combination of the two if it is felt that this would best reflect the community identity of the area.”

To the north of the county, St Martin’s, currently represented by a single councillor, could become the only other two member division.

The draft proposals see the ward expand eastwards, absorbing communities south of Ellesmere including Welsh Frankton and Tetchill, and westwards to the Welsh border, taking in Weston Rhyn and Chirk Bank from the current two-member ward of Gobowen, Selattyn and Weston Rhyn.

The report says: “It would be possible to divide this into two single-member divisions, and we considered this, but any such division would inevitably split both the parish and village of St Martin’s in a way which we do not consider would reflect the community identity of this area, as well as not offering a particularly strong or clear boundary.”

The remaining area of Selattyn and Gobowen will form a new single-member ward.

Oswestry East is to split into two wards, each with its own councillor.

In Wem, one ward will be focussed tightly on the town itself while the new ward of Wem Rural and Whixhall will take in the surrounding areas.

Whitchurch will retain three councillors, but the two-member ward of Whitchurch North will be divided, into the single-member wards of Whitchurch North and Whitchurch West.

Whitchurch South will be renamed Whitchurch South and Rural, expanding to take in the parish of Ightfield from Prees division.

Market Drayton West will split into two wards, and the boundary with Market Drayton East will also be adjusted to even out voter numbers. The East ward will be renamed Market Drayton East and Rural to better reflect the area it covers.

Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the LGBCE, urged people to get involved with the consultation, which is open until July 10.

He said: “We want to make sure these new electoral arrangements reflect communities.

“We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people. Residents and local organisations can help us do that. We would like them to let us know whether they agree with our proposals before we take final decisions.”

Council leader Lezley Picton said: “We’ll be carefully considering the Boundary Commission’s detailed proposals to understand what they would mean for the council and the county. We’ll then respond with our thoughts.

“As these proposals are likely to affect a large number of people across our area I encourage all local residents to have a look for themselves and submit their comments as part of the consultation.”

More information on the consultation can be found at