Petersfield ward expanded

06 September 2016: The final recommendation of the Boundary Commission keeps the existing Petersfield ward intact and merges us with Newtown.

(The original draft proposal had Petersfield disappearing, being replaced by a new St Paul’s division, roughly a wedge from the city centre running south-east to the railway line.)

Background

The motivation for change is a requirement to reduce the number of county councillors, and hence to enlarge the electoral divisions/wards. It is likely that the City Council will adjust its ward boundaries to match.

SoPRA responses

We submitted the following letter to the Boundary Commission on 6 July 2015:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write as a representative of the southern half of what is currently Petersfield ward in Cambridge.

The current proposal for redrawing divisional boundaries is roughly that Petersfield, Market and the northern part of Trumpington ward be amalgamated, then split north-south along the line of Mill Road. We would join the new St Paul’s division.

We do not support this, as it joins two very different parts of Cambridge: the centre, which is dominated by University of Cambridge colleges, and the densely residential area outside the inner ring road.

Mill Road is the main social, cultural and retail spine running through this part of Cambridge, and there is a strong sense of community between residents living on the north and south sides of this road. Residents in south Petersfield are also connected to Newtown, the area around Hills Road. A natural affinity exists between neighbourhoods that lie between the inner ring road and the railway line.

We therefore request that Petersfield ward be retained, with the main alteration being an extension southwards into what is currently Trumpington ward. We believe that East Road and Gonville Place should remain the western boundary, and the railway line the eastern boundary. We will be happy to accept wherever the northern and southern boundaries need to be drawn in order to achieve the required population count.

We submitted the following response on 30 November 2015 to the further consultation:

I write as a representative of the southern half of what is currently Petersfield ward in Cambridge.

Our residents’ association is strongly supportive of the ‘alternative’ proposal (‘Further Draft Recommendations’), which preserves the eastern and western boundaries of Petersfield ward. Residents have used the phrases:

‘…better fit with the history and “feel” of the localities …’
‘The historical and cultural identity of Mill Road should be preserved …’
‘…it has an historical and social coherence.’
‘…maintaining the coherence of the Petersfield neighbourhood and its natural connection to Newtown.’

We have no further request with respect to the divisional arrangement, but we would like to suggest that the enlarged ward be named ‘Petersfield and Newtown’ in recognition of both historically distinct neighbourhoods contained within the boundary.