Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions
Contact: Paul Mountford Tel: 01270 686472 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Declarations of Interest
To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests, other registerable interests, and non-registerable interests in any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the last formal meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 30th October 2023.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 30th October 2023 be approved as a correct record.
Public Speaking / Open Session
In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Committee Procedure Rules and the Appendix on Public Speaking, as set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the Sub-Committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes to speak; the Chair will have discretion to vary this where he/she considers it appropriate.
Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days in advance of the meeting.
Simona Garnero, Clerk to Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council, voiced the Parish Council’s objection to any proposal for separate Borough wards for Shavington and Gresty, citing historical survey evidence that residents of Gresty identified strongly with Shavington. The Parish Council supported a single, two-member ward.
Joe Godden commented that some people in the Cross Town and St John’s Wood areas of Knutsford did not feel appropriately represented under the present single, three-member ward arrangement. He suggested that Knutsford be divided into a single member ward for Cross Town and St John’s Wood and a two member ward for the rest of the town, although he recognised that this would result in the former ward being under-represented and the latter over-represented in terms of the Boundary Commission’s electoral equality criterion. At the Chair’s request, Mr Billington advised that the extent of the resulting variances made it unlikely that they would be accepted by the Boundary Commission.
To consider the proposed warding arrangements for Cheshire East Council for recommendation to the Corporate Policy Committee and full Council, to enable the Council to respond as a consultee to the second stage of the electoral review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
The Sub-Committee considered a report on proposed future warding arrangements for Cheshire East Council, which was in response to an electoral review of Cheshire East by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
In presenting the report, Mr Reed reminded the Sub-Committee that the review was being conducted by the Boundary Commission, and that the Council was being consulted with a view to submitting its own proposals to the Commission. The Sub-Committee was being asked to consider the draft Council proposals and to make recommendations to the Corporate Policy Committee on 13th February 2024. The final approval of the Council’s submission would be by full Council on 27th February 2024.
The report set out the Boundary’s Commission’s timetable for conducting the electoral review. It also set out the criteria that the Commission would apply to its consideration of the future warding arrangements for Cheshire East: electoral equality, community identity, and effective and convenient local government. Any proposals by the Council would need to conform to those criteria.
The Sub-Committee had met informally on a number of occasions between late November and mid-January to consider in detail proposals for future warding. In addition, individual members of the Sub-Committee had consulted informally with local ward members and within their political groups. Local ward members had attended the meetings and had been afforded the opportunity to speak in relation to the warding proposals for their areas.
Appendix 1 to the report included the vast majority of warding proposals upon which informal agreement had been reached. A number of warding proposals remained unresolved, and the options relating to those proposals were set out in Appendix 2. Detailed maps of the proposals were set out in the appendices and large scale printed versions were available at the meeting.
The officers advised that once the Sub-Committee had approved proposals from among the options in Appendix 2, those proposals would be incorporated into the main set of proposals at Appendix 1 for the Corporate Policy Committee meeting. The officers would also take the opportunity to correct a number of typographical errors that had become apparent in the warding proposals report.
The Sub-Committee was also recommended, for the reasons set out in the report, to seek delegated authority from the Corporate Policy Committee, and then from Council, for the Sub-Committee to make any further changes to the warding proposals following the Corporate Policy Committee and Council meetings, and to respond to any further consultation by the Boundary Commission before or during the second round of consultation between July and October.
The Chair acknowledged the huge amount of work that had been undertaken over the last few weeks and placed on record his thanks to the officers, and in particular to Nick Billington. He also congratulated the Sub-Committee on having secured agreement on the vast majority of warding proposals, with only three areas remaining to be resolved by the day of the meeting.
The Sub-Committee proceeded to consider the proposals set out in the report, including ... view the full minutes text for item 15.