The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is carrying out an electoral review of Suffolk County Council. Below is Woodbridge Town Council's response to this review.
After discussing the matter Woodbridge Town council would like to suggest the following changes to the Woodbridge County Council division for the following reasons, and with the aim of making the Woodbridge division more logical as well as closer in size to the target number of electors set out by the commission.
Woodbridge is a thriving market town with a railway station, cinema, swimming pool, two theatres, two secondary schools and three primary schools within the current division boundaries (Woodbridge Primary School is paradoxically outside the current division - see below). Woodbridge is therefore a significant hub for its area and users of the town's services are able to come into town on foot and bicycle from the area East of the A12 but contiguous with the division.
The proposal contains two parts, one large (to the North) and one small (to the south):
Proposal part 1:
We suggest retaining the strong existing boundaries to the West along the A12 and to the East along the river Deben but we suggest expanding the Woodbridge division north west into what is currently the Wickham county division so that the new boundary takes in all the housing developments coming off the north side of Pytches road, and all the housing (new, existing and proposed) on both sides of Melton rd as far as the filling station.
Justification: Community cohesion' grounds for this proposal are:
-Woodbridge Primary School is situated to the north of Pytches Road and is therefore not currently in Woodbridge Division (although it's catchment population is). It would make eminent sense if it were. It is also paradoxically the case that any problems with speeding have to be dealt with on a road (Pytches road) where the division line goes down the centre of the road. This means the road is the responsibility of TWO separate county councillors.
-The residents of the developments such as Melton Grange, identify most closely with Woodbridge rather than Melton. They shop in Woodbridge, they use the doctors' surgeries, they use local transport links, leisure facilities, belong to local community groups etc.
-For any road related schemes at county level - traffic calming for example - it makes proposals more logical and viable if they can be presented and supported by a single county division. The new proposed division would cover a contiguous area of linked residential roads.
Proposal part 2:
This would have far less effect on voter numbers, but it would be logical to extend the southern boundary of the Woodbridge division (where it abuts the Martlesham division) so that the southern sections of Sandy Lane and Top street are added to the Woodbridge division, perhaps as far as the creek.
Justification: for traffic planning purposes and for any housing development-related proposals south of the current division boundary, it would make it easier to represent the needs of the community that travels into Woodbridge as it's local hub.