John Leech agrees with Manchester City Council's proposals following proposed boundary changes
- All 96 councillors in Manchester will face battles for their seats in 2018 as new boundary changes are to come into effect
- Boundary Commission released its draft for the 32 wards that make up Manchester City Council
- Eight-week public consultation begins today
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has asked residents across Manchester to comment on its draft proposals for new council ward boundaries.
The eight-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today (29 November), ending on 23 January next year. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Manchester.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that the Manchester should remain at 96 councillors, one of the largest in the country, with each of the 32 wards represented by three councillors.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Manchester and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“Over the next eight weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.
“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.
“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Manchester."
John Leech, the city's only opposition councillor submitted a number of suggestions but broadly agreed with Manchester City Council's proposals.
Mr Leech's main proposal was that Chorlton Park ward should be reverted back to its original and historic name of Barlow Moor ward in order to build a "stronger sense of community".
He said: "There is no real Chorlton Park identity. When I knock on doors residents within the proposed ward tend to consider themselves to live in Chorlton, Nell Lane, Merseybank or Barlow Moor.
"Few residents I have spoken to would claim to live in "Chorlton Park", with the exception of the people who live in the park itself. I would therefore argue that the ward should revert back to its historic name of "Barlow Moor", given that Barlow Moor Road runs all the way through the ward."
I think it is really important that everyone in Manchester feels part of, and proud of, their local community
Mr Leech concluded: "I would encourage anyone who has strong feelings about their local area to voice their say as this is a unique opportunity to build the community led Manchester I truly believe in."