New community governance arrangements affecting Knutsford come into effect this April, following conclusion of a community governance review across Cheshire East.
The review, which looked at governance arrangements for town and parish councils across the borough, addresses the concerns first raised by Knutsford Town Council in 2017 when it pushed for a review to be commenced.
The boundary of Knutsford is being expanded to the west to include the Tabley Park development, part of which is currently in Tabley parish. The new boundary follows Northwich Road to the M6 and back along Tabley Hill Lane. The town’s eastern boundary was also changed to include part of the Longridge Business Park which was technically within Mobberley parish.
The other major change is redrawing the internal ward boundaries – Knutsford’s 15 town councillors will now be elected across five three-member wards rather than the current four. This addresses issues which will be created by new developments which would have affected the ratio of electors to councillors in existing wards and seen some estates split between different wards. The changes split the existing Over ward, which elected six councillors, into two three-member wards, providing a stronger link between councillors and residents.
All ward boundaries have been affected. The new wards are:
- Bexton and Town Centre
- St John’s Wood
- Norbury Booths
Nether ward has moved north to include the Tabley Park development as well as the Bluebell Village and smaller development planned for the site west of Manchester Road. The town centre has moved into the new Bexton and Town Centre ward whilst Norbury Booths ward has expanded west to include all houses along Bexton Lane. Over ward has been split in two, creating a new Cross Town ward, centred around Thorneyholme Drive, and St John’s Wood, which contains the ancient woodland, Longridge and Shaw Heath areas as well as the new development on Parkgate Lane and potential development on Longridge.
The new governance arrangements will be used in the May elections. No changes have been made to the Cheshire East Council wards.
In surrounding parishes, the area of Tatton Park which is not in Knutsford parish moves into a newly merged parish of Millington and Rostherne whilst there have been no changes at Mere; Plumley with Toft and Bexton; or Ollerton with Marthall and the only change at Tabley is the transfer of land to Knutsford.
This year’s elections will also see some changes to polling stations and residents will have recently received letters from Cheshire East Council; polling cards will be issued for elections detailing the polling station for each polling district in Knutsford. Voting in elections from May 2023 requires photo ID for the first time. If you do not have photographic ID, you can apply for a free voter authority certificate from Cheshire East Council at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate