Woking future is mapped out

A MOTION endorsing the revision of Woking’s ward boundaries was carried forward at a full council meeting on Thursday.

The review is now with the Boundary Commission awaiting approval. Of those present in the Civic Offices, 22 Conservatives showed their hands in favour of the proposals.

No one opposed but the remainder, the Liberal Democrats, abstained. The aim of the changes is to accommodate a reduction in the number of elected seats on Woking Borough Council, from 36 members to 30, in 2016.

The councillors will then cover 10 wards between them instead of the current 17.

Council Leader John Kingsbury said that the idea is to make local elections fairer and more balanced, and that councillors will each represent a similar number of residents.

Deputy Leader David Bittleston (left), whose team went back to the boundary drawing board after taking on public comments, said: “We had more than 300 responses. Some had concerns that the changes would affect house values or that their children would have to change schools, but these won’t be affected.

“We were pleased we consulted so widely, and solutions have been addressed to hopefully reflect that as much as possible.

“In fact I think the final solution we’ve come up with is better than the first one. We have managed to keep more communities together.”

The commission’s findings will again go out to public consultation around June, then it goes through Parliament. A final decision should be made round about December.

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