Every few years the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) reviews and changes the areas our councillors represent. Right now they are reviewing the boundaries of the divisions each Oxfordshire County Councillor represents. As the population of Oxfordshire has grown, there will be 69 councillors from 2025.
We all have until 11 December 2023 to respond to their new map. It can make a difference to your councillors and how many Green Party councillors will be elected in May 2025.
Take a look at the map below. The commission are proposing 69 divisions, each electing a single councillor. Currently there are 61 divisions electing 63 councillors (Grove & Wantage and Thame & Chinnor each elect 2 councillors). This map shows the proposed new divisions in colour, with the current boundaries as black lines.
On the consultation web page, you can explore a map that shows the draft proposed boundaries, the current ones and new parish boundaries, so you can see what would change.
What do you think of the draft proposals? The divisions are created to have similar numbers of electors and reflect local communities and interests. Are the boundaries practical, appropriate and reflective of community ties and identities? Has your area been joined with a completely different community? Does a boundary split your community in two?
Responding to the consultation
Each resident and local organisation can send their views to LGBCE before 11 December 2023. They often modify their proposals after receiving views and suggestions for better boundaries.
When they reviewed the ward boundaries in Oxford City, the Oxfordshire Green Party wrote a report criticising d(r)aft boundaries that cut across the middle of streets (designed by Labour to split apart wards with Green councillors). We designed an alternative ward map using practical boundaries like main roads around locally accepted communities. The Commission accepted our map.
LGBCE explain here how they review boundaries and how people and groups can give them our views on their propsals. They even made this video explaining the process.
You can, as residents, send in your views using their feedback form or send them an email or letter.
In addition, the Oxfordshire Green Party is setting up a team of volunteers to review the proposal, suggest revisions to the map and submit a report. To do that we need local knowledge of how the boundaries will affect your local communities. Please send information and ideas to help our team to <[email protected]> or leave a comment below.