Villages part of council revamp

A VIEW of Bestwood Village from the air
A VIEW of Bestwood Village from the air

LINBY, Papplewick and Newstead would be merged with Ravenshead if a reshuffle of Gedling Borough Council wards goes ahead.

The four villages would come under the name of Newstead Abbey ward and it would have three councillors.

The proposals would also mean Bestwood St Albans ward being represented by two councillors instead of just one at present.

The planned changes are part of an aim by the council to reduce the number of its councillors from 50 to 41.

Reducing the number of councillors by ten was the Labour party’s manifesto pledge before it gained control of the council in last year’s elections.

The council asked for an independent review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, which recommends reducing the number by only nine.

If they get the green light from the commission, the changes will come into force ahead of the next local election in 2015.

To carry out the changes, the council has had to re-draw its ward map and this was unanimously voted through by members last week.

Coun Chris Barnfather (Con), who represents Ravenshead ward on the council, was on a cross-party working group for the proposals.

He pointed out that apart from the exclusion of Bestwood Village, the new Newstead Abbey ward would be co-terminous with the Newstead ward, which he represents on Notts County Council.

“Newstead Abbey was chosen as the name because it is close to all four villages,” said Coun Barnfather. “It also counters any impression that Ravenshead has swallowed up the other villages.”

Ironically, Newstead Abbey comes under the auspices of Nottingham City Council but, apart from the historic building, the site is very much part of Gedling borough.

A second councillor is planned for Bestwood St Albans with a view to its two areas — the village and part of Top Valley — having separate representation. Coun Denis Beeston (Lab), the ward member for 30 years, said he was in favour of the proposals.