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Council gerrymandering: Oh no we won’t! Oh yes they have.

Two months after saying that they would not submit any proposals in the boundary change consultation, our beloved leaders have, er, done just that.

A quick reminder: the Local Government Boundaries Commission for England (LGBCE) has been invited by our Council to review our local government arrangements. The LGBCE is looking at the number of wards, the boundaries and names of the wards, the number of councillors per ward, and therefore the overall number of councillors we have to represent us.

Back in October, Cllr Gilbey said:

“It is essential the setting of new boundaries doesn’t lead to accusations of gerrymandering or voter manipulation by the council. After discussions with colleagues, I have taken the view the council itself should step back and let the Boundary Commission decide the new wards based on its own studies and after giving detailed consideration to the opinions of any individual, group and parish council.”

Lo and behold, tonight (10th December) the Council will be presenting their proposals for boundary changes. They said one thing, and did another. Surprised?

Of course, some of the more cynically minded residents (and councillors) suggested at the time that the decision not to put forward a proposal was simply a ruse to avoid having to debate that proposal in public, in Council.

The more deviously minded suggested that the Council’s (i.e. the Conservative group’s) preferred option would be submitted to the LGBCE by a proxy, such as a local Conservative Association, presumably to be accompanied by some nodding and winking.

My guess is that the Blue Team have been a little rattled by the sensible-looking proposals from the local Red Team (38 councillors, one councillor per ward) and have decided that public debate is a price worth paying in order to have an Official Preference published.

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