Consultation on proposal to increase number of town council wards

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) is running a public consultation on a proposed change to the number of town council wards in Bradley Stoke.

Prior to the May 2019 elections, the area governed by Bradley Stoke Town Council was split into seven town wards (see map below) with each ward electing between one and four councillors depending on the size of the electorate within that ward.

Map showing ward boundaries.
Bradley Stoke Town Council ward boundaries prior to May 2019.

View an interactive version of the above map on Google Maps.

The number of town wards was reduced as a result of a district boundary review which was undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in 2018. The main objective of this review was to adjust the district ward boundaries as a consequence of the number of South Gloucestershire Council members being reduced from 70 to 61. This resulted in the number of district wards covering Bradley Stoke being reduced from three to two. However, the commission also decided to adjust the town wards so they were aligned with the district wards, and at the same time reduce the number of town wards from seven to three; namely Bradley Stoke North (represented by six councillors), Bradley Stoke South (seven councillors) and the much smaller Stoke Brook (two councillors).

Map showing ward boundaries.
Bradley Stoke Town Council ward boundaries from May 2019.

View an interactive version of the above map on Google Maps.

Following this, in 2021, South Gloucestershire Council decided to launch its own ‘community governance review’ to examine the possibility of creating new parish or town councils (such as for Charlton Hayes and Stoke Park & Cheswick). It is also within the remit of this review to consider the warding arrangements of existing parish or town councils.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Members of SGC’s Regulatory Committee agreed to include the Bradley Stoke Town Council warding arrangements in the current community governance review as the town council had already requested changes following the May 2019 elections, when it wrote to SGC saying:

“Councillors feel that the lengthy voting papers at this year’s election were very confusing for residents (and time-consuming during the count).”

This is presumably a reference to there being 14 candidates for the six seats in the Bradley Stoke North town ward and 16 candidates for the seven seats in the Bradley Stoke South town ward.

However, now that SGC has come up with its proposals, two further justifications for making the changes have been included on the consultation webpage:

“The two large wards can cause issues with long ballot papers, expensive by-elections and a large area for councillors to represent.” [Emphasis by the Journal]

The reference to “expensive by-elections” most likely relates to the recent (March 2022) town council by-election for just one seat in the Bradley Stoke South ward, which cost taxpayers almost £13,000 (with just 1,077 people voting). Two earlier town council by-elections held on the same day in May 2021, one in each of the Bradley Stoke North and Bradley Stoke South wards, cost taxpayers over £15,000 in total.


The consultation webpage goes on to state that “having an increased number of smaller town wards provides for the following benefits”:

  • Improved accountability of councillors to the residents of their specific parish ward.
  • It will enable councillors to focus on residents issues specifically affecting their parish ward. In turn, residents will feel improved local representation.
  • Enables distinct communities within the parish to be recognised.
  • In the event of a by-election, costs would be reduced as they would affect smaller geographical areas.

Proposed new wards

It is proposed to increase the number of town wards from three to five, as shown in the map below. These are named (north to south):

  • Woodlands (4 councillors)
  • Primrose Bridge (3 councillors)
  • Willowbrook (3 councillors)
  • Webbs Wood (3 councillors)
  • Stoke Brook (2 councillors)
Map showing ward boundaries.
Proposed new Bradley Stoke Town Council ward boundaries consulted upon in July/August 2022.

View a hi-res version of the above image (on Dropbox).

It is not proposed to change the overall number of councillors on the town council, which would remain at 15.

Advertising image.

No changes are proposed for the South Gloucestershire Council district wards, which will remain as Bradley Stoke North, Bradley Stoke South and (for a small area in the south of the town coincident with the current Stoke Brook town ward) Stoke Gifford. A map showing the district wards [PDF, 3.6MB] is available on the Local Government Boundary Commission website.

Have your say

Full details of the proposals are presented on the SGC consultation webpage: Bradley Stoke town council consultation

Responses may be made by completing the online questionnaire, or by downloading a digital version of the questionnaire, printing and completing it, and posting it to SGC.

The consultation period ends at midnight on Sunday 21st August 2022.

Any enquiries should be directed to or 01454 868009.

What happens next?

Responses to the consultation will be reviewed and presented in a report to SGC’s Regulatory Committee in September 2022. If a decision is made to change the town council warding arrangements, the change would take effect from the next regular local elections in May 2023.

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