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Minor Update 7. November 2017

Following a Governance Review by Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council and closely following suggestions from Acton Bridge Parish Council, minor changes have been recommended to the boundaries between our Parish and our neighbours in Dutton, Little Leigh, Weaverham and Crowton, and will be reflected in official mapping in due course. The following changes are expected to take place (as listed by CWAC)...

1) the boundary of the existing parish of Acton Bridge be redrawn to the north at Pickering's Cut to transfer the land between the Dutton Viaduct and The Bungalow from Dutton parish to Acton Bridge parish;
2) the boundary of the existing parish of Acton Bridge be redrawn to the east, south of Acton Swing Bridge to transfer the island of the Weaver Navigation Canal from Little Leigh parish to Acton Bridge parish;
3) the boundary of the existing parish of Acton Bridge be redrawn to the south-east at the A49 / Sandy Lane to transfer the property of Kinsale from Acton Bridge parish to Weaverham parish;
4) the boundary of the existing parish of Acton Bridge be redrawn to the south at Grange Brook to transfer the property of Grange Brook Farm from Weaverham parish to Acton Bridge parish;
5) the boundary of the existing parish of Acton Bridge be redrawn to the west at Acton Mill to transfer the property of The Grange from Acton Bridge parish to Crowton parish;
[...]
10) a Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council (Reorganisation of Community Governance) Order [is to] be prepared in accordance with the above recommendations and that the Order be effective from 1st April 2015.

Editor's notes -
Items (1) and (2) mean that the parish boundaries will logically follow the current line of the Weaver Navigation, rather than its previous natural courses. However, we recommended that in (1) above, the house known as The Bungalow should properly be in Crowton, since its only road access is from Crowton, and in fact the mapping accompanying the proposals agrees with this (as can be seen below), despite CWAC's wording. The remaining area of land south of the Weaver Navigation is properly described and mapped as transferring to Acton Bridge parish.
Item (3) changes the boundary to follow the line of the A49 Weaverham bypass, hence excluding Kinsale from Acton Bridge.
Item (4) changes the boundary to follow a watercourse and properly transfers Grange Brook Farm to Acton Bridge, since its only road access is from Acton Bridge.
Item (5) properly transfers The Grange to Crowton, since, despite its situation to the north of the brook, its only road access is from Crowton.

CWAC Boundaries Map 2014
Mapping © copyright OS / CWAC and used here exclusively for illustration of the above boundary changes


Boundary Changes, Cheshire East and West, and Chester

The "Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE)" seems to have replaced the Boundary Committee for England, which was part of the Electoral Commission, and is not the same as the Boundary Commission for England. That's all clear, then.

When the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) published its "final recommendations" on new electoral arrangements for Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester, Acton Bridge Parish Council was disappointed that our own clearly-expressed preference to remain linked to the rural communities to our West had been over-ridden, largely at the behest of Cuddington and Weaverham. The new "Weaver and Cuddington" Ward consists of four Parishes - Acton Bridge, Cuddington (which includes the community of Sandiway), Dutton, and Weaverham, though there are recent (late 2017) proposals to change this yet again.

Our proposal was also that recommended by Cheshire West & Chester Council, and supported by both Kingsley and Dutton Parish Councils. You can read more about this decision, and its implications for how our Parishioners will be represented, on the LGBCE website.

Background...

The January 2010 Parish Council meeting took place on Monday, 11. January, at 7 pm with a Public Meeting to discuss local government reorganisation. We were pleased to see more than a dozen residents, as well as a full Parish Council and two of our three Cheshire West and Chester Councillors, Cllr Alan McKie and Cllr Ralph Oultram.

Cheshire West and Chester forms broadly the north-western half of the previous administrative County of Cheshire, and the six Boroughs such as Vale Royal have disappeared. Cheshire West and Chester is to be divided into 44 Wards, each to have between one and three Councillors, representing approximately 3,300 electors each, but retaining where possible the existing Parish boundaries. In multi-member Wards there would be no division of Councillors' representation - both or all Councillors would represent all the electors in their Ward. The Parish Council believes that there is a clear advantage in being part of a Ward with several Councillors. In order to achieve the new Ward sizes, there has been a numerical exercise allocating individual Parishes such as Acton Bridge into the Wards.

The original proposal from Cheshire West and Chester retained the former "Weaver" Ward, and was supported by the Parish Council, but a recent decision from the Boundary Committee has overturned this, and proposes that the rural villages be replaced by Cuddington within a new Ward boundary.

The blocks of numbers are roughly as follows (2008 Register figures):-

So, adding the nine rural villages to Weaverham gives 10,209 electors, which accords with three-member Ward size. Adding up Weaverham, Cuddington and Acton Bridge would total 8,995 which is rather too few.

The meeting fully endorsed the Parish Council's recommended alignment with Weaverham, and the rural villages to our west (Alvanley, Manley, Norley, Kingsley, Aston, Crowton, Dutton, and Sutton) but excluding Cuddington. Weaverham has our local schools, library, shops and Post Office, and there are further links such as the Cemetery Committee, and Weaverham & Acton Bridge Trust. We have also cooperated successfully in planning campaigns such as the Network Rail Substation. This amenity centre is balanced by the essentially rural character of the villages along the Weaver Valley, which is important to residents for leisure and open space as well as having its own agricultural heritage, and is of course the focus of the proposed Regional Park.

Here is the Parish Council's letter to the Boundary Committee (click images to open a .PDF file),


Please note: this is a personal website, and does not represent the views of Acton Bridge Parish Council or any other organisation. Its editor is Steve Pardoe.
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