Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: September 2014

West Byfleet 1

A big crowd in West Byfleet during the Olympics. Woking council does not think that the area is significant enough to retain its status as an individual ward

Woking council has had a fairly drastic rethink since its initial proposals about changing ward boundaries. But there is still a lot of unhappiness out there about its final recommendations to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

Those estoeric new ward names, like Woodlands, Canalside, Town, and The Heath, have been ditched, and some familiar names have been reinstated, like Pyrford, Sheerwater, and West Byfleet. The revisions also reveal the power of protest. Under the original proposals, Pyrford, one of the more affluent areas of Woking borough, was going to disappear altogether. After a council meeting that was well attended by residents from Pyrford in particular, anxious to put forward their objections, their ward name has been restored. On the new map, it now looks to be one of the biggest in the borough. How’s that for making your voices heard?

The name West Byfleet has also been restored, but its individual ward has still been axed, with parts of it merging with Byfleet, on the other side of the M25, and other parts going to Sheerwater, on the other side of Sheerwater Road. A major area of the borough, with an important rail station, and a major supermarket, has thus lost its individual identity. The same goes to Byfleet, if it comes to that. To many, it makes no sense.

Some residents in Woodham, on one side of the Basingstoke canal, are also upset about finding themselves lumped in with Sheerwater, on the other side of the canal. One or two residents have apparently told the local paper that “they are different kinds of people”. If you feel strongly about any of this, now is the time to make your views known.

The Local Government Boundary Commission says:  “We are asking local people and organisations to comment on our draft recommendations for new council ward boundaries across Woking. We have an open mind about further suggestions from local people to change and improve these recommendations. We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole borough or just a part of it.” This consultation closes on 6 October 2014. You can read more about the changes – and how to have your say – here