Today the Oxfordshire Green Party sent in our response to the Boundary Commission's recommendations for new wards in Oxford, the areas each councillor represents. We have a plan that better serves the communities in different parts of Oxford, compared to draft based on a Labour Party design to eliminate all opposition to them.
The Boundary Commission’s Draft Recommendations are, in almost all respects, the same as those presented to them by Oxford City Council’s Labour Group. Unfortunately, the original proposals are – in the East of the City at least (St. Clement’s, Bartlemas and Donnington Wards) – not driven by the need to more accurately reflect community interests and identities or promote more effective and convenient local government. They were, as one Labour Councillor said to a Green Councillor in a cross-party review group; “designed to make sure you lot can’t get re-elected”.
In our alternative arrangement of wards in East Oxford, we used evidence and examples to present our alternative to the Draft Recommendations for new wards we have provisionally named St. Clements, Bannister and Cricket Wards. This alternative arrangement maintains electoral equality whilst better:
- Reflecting community boundaries and identities
- Promoting more effective and convenient local government
These proposals were accepted by Oxford City Council’s Electoral Services Manager, as being a viable alternative arrangement of the three wards referred to in the Draft Recommendations as St. Clement’s, Bartlemas and Donnington. However, these Green Proposals were rejected by Labour members at the cross-party review group without any real discussion.
Read our submission on why this is better.
We went on to look at the impact of the draft recommendations on other wards, in areas such as Florence Park and Donnington, and came up with this extended plan.