New ward boundary proposals finalised for the Rochdale borough
Date published: 12 May 2021
Rochdale political map - via the Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Every ward boundary in Rochdale is set to change following a redrawing of its political map.
The Local Government Boundary Commission has made its final recommendations to parliament following a two-year review of the borough’s electoral arrangements.
The independent body is proposing that the number of councillors should remain at 60, equally split across 20 wards as they are now.
However, the boundaries of each ward have been altered to ensure councillors represent roughly the same number of voters.
The recommendations also aim to ensure the new council wards reflect the interests and identities of local communities.
The final proposals are based on draft recommendations published in December, with some changes based on consultation responses.
Bowlee will be brought into South Middleton, together with Fairfield Road, Lowther Crescent and Hawkshead Drive on Langley.
There will also be a minor adjustment to the eastern boundary of South Middleton along Eastway and Assheton Way to ‘facilitate a more locally identifiable boundary’.
Boarshaw will remain entirely in North Middleton after local councillors raised concerns the commission’s draft recommendations would split up the well-established community.
Alkrington to be kept entirely within the ward of South Middleton to reflect community identity.
Castleton, Hopwood Hall, North Heywood and West Heywood
The boundary between Hopwood Hall and North Middleton will run along Hollin Lane and Rochdale Road, with residents to the north of these roads being placed in Hopwood Hall ward.
The commission has also accepted new council leader Neil Emmott’s proposal to revert to the original ward name of Hopwood Hall, rather than Hopwood.
It was persuaded by the argument this more accurately reflects communities in this area, noting that residents of the Hollins and Gladewood areas have more affinity with Hopwood Hall.
North West Rochdale
The commission was persuaded that the area around Syke Common is more closely connected to Healey than Smallbridge and Firgrove.
In a change to the draft proposals, it has therefore based its boundary in the east of Healey ward on the current ward boundary, which includes the properties on both sides of Syke Common.
Central and South Rochdale
The Croxton Avenue estate will be placed in Central Rochdale, while – as per the draft report – Waterman View, Belfield Old Road, Woodlands View and Belfield Community School will come under Smallbridge and Firgrove.
The commission believes this will address concerns any change would split the Bangladeshi population from their place of worship in Central Rochdale and weaken council’s governance structures.
The Lower Falinge area will also be included within Spotland and Falinge ward.
Shore will not be moved into the Littleborough Lakeside ward.
The commission received submissions – arguing that the Shore, Wardle and the Bents Farm estate are closely linked, with a number of well-used footpaths connecting the areas.
Residents also noted that Wardle volunteers often undertake projects in these communities.
As a result of the changes at Shore, the Wardle and West Littleborough ward will be named Wardle, Shore and West Littleborough and the boundary between this ward and Littleborough Lakeside will now run down Whitelees Road to Featherstall Road.
The commission has also dropped a proposal to move the Ashbrook Hey estate out of Smallbridge and Firgrove, accepting its draft proposals would split the community.
Instead it will include the estate and the area south of Halifax Road in Smallbridge and Firgrove ward, as it ‘better reflects communities while also providing for effective and convenient local government’.
The boundary of the Milnrow and Newhey ward will also be changed to include more properties in Milnrow, including Moorhouse Primary School although part of the Cray estate will remain in Smallbridge and Firgrove.
Under the recommendations the average number of voters per councillor – based on projections for 2026 – would be 2,922.
No ward is more than 10% away from the average which the commission defines as ‘good electoral equality’.
An interactive map showing the proposed new boundaries can be found here:
Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
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