September 29th, 2016

Councillor hits out over Longbridge ‘disappearing’ under ward change proposals

Updated: 12:14 pm, Jan 13, 2016

A SOUTH Birmingham councillor has hit out at plans to remove the name ‘Longbridge’ from the electoral ward he represents.

Coun Andy Cartwright contacted The Standard about the issue following proposals by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) to change the names of electoral wards as part of a review.

Currently, the Northfield constituency is split into three wards – Northfield, Longbridge and Weoley.

But, under the new plans put forward, Northfield is divided into two wards ‘Northfield East’ and ‘Northfield West’, with the latter taking in some of the current Longbridge ward.

The rest of the Longbridge ward is split into new ‘Frankley’ and ‘Rednal and Rubery’.

Some of the current Northfield ward in the south becomes a new ‘West Heath’ ward and Weoley is also divided into ‘Allens Cross and a new ‘Weoley’ ward which takes in some of the current Bartley Green and Selly Oak wards.

The move also affects the number of councillors representing each area.

Currently, the Weoley ward has three councillors, with Northfield and Longbridge having two each.

Under the new draft proposals, there would be two members each for Northfield East, Northfield West, Frankley, Allens Cross and Weoley and one for Rubery and Rednal.

Coun Cartwright said the LGBCE was wrong to have eradicated Longbridge from the map, especially in light of the new town centre being constructed and the rich history of the area.

“To take the name Longbridge out is disgraceful – it’s world-renowned because of the Rover plant and because of what was done here during the war years.

“The Pride of Longbridge Rally is held every year to remember all the good that has come out of the area and last year there were more than 10,000 people in Cofton Park.

“Longbridge has provided employment for so many people over the years and the name has to be remembered.

“You would not get this happening in Bournville, which has its name linked with Cadbury’s,” he added.

A consultation on the draft proposals runs until February 8.

Residents can visit to see the proposals and changes and e-mail to have their say.

Alternatively, they can write to The Review Officer (Birmingham), LGBCE, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London, SW1P 4QP.