Proposed changes to the Blackwood council ward have been ditched after councillors and residents voiced concerns.
The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales has published its final recommendations for the future electoral arrangements for Caerphilly County Borough.
In the commission’s draft proposals, it was recommended to remove Cefn Forest East from Blackwood and put it into the Cefn Fforest electoral ward.
However, this faced strong opposition from the three-county borough council Blackwood ward members and several town council members.
A petition with 536 signatures from local residents was also submitted as part of the commission’s consultation
Blackwood ward councillor Nigel Dix said: “I’m delighted with the commissioner’s recommendations.
“It’s important our integrity remains as a local ward.
“I would like to thank my ward colleagues for the work they did and also to the residents who took the time to sign the petition and write individually.
“As councillors we have been proactive and making sure people are informed.”
Cllr Kevin Etheridge said: “The campaign was the community engaging as a team and I wish to thank all residents and the Boundary Commission for listening.”
What make up has the commission proposed?
The final recommendations propose a reduction in the number of council members from 73 to 69.
It is also proposed to reduce the number of electoral wards by three down to 30.
Under the proposals there would be one four-member ward, 12 three-member wards, 12 two-member wards and five one-member wards.
Eighteen wards would remain unchanged.
What are the proposed boundary changes?
Eighteen wards would remain geographically the same under the proposals. They are Abercarn, Aber Valley, Crumlin, Gilfach, Maesycwmmer, Nelson, New Tredegar, Penmaen, Pontllanfraith, Risca West, Argoed, Blackwood, Darran Valley, Morgan Jones, Penyrheol, Risca East, St Martins and Newbridge.
There would be changes in the other 12 wards.
The commission has proposed combining the Crosskeys and Ynysddu wards.
A new ward by the name of Moriah and Pontylottyn is proposed, which would be made up of parts of four wards in the community of Rhymney. They are Abertysswg, Moriah, Pontlottyn and St. David’s.
The Twyn Carno ward would keep its name and would be combined with a small area in the north of the Moriah and Pontlottyn wards.
Following concerns from local ward members and residents, the commission has proposed combining the Cefn Fforest and Pengam wards and leaving Blackwood as it is.
The commission has recommended that Aberbargoed and Bargoed combine to form a ward of the same name.
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It has also been recommended to combine part of the Ystrad Mynach ward with the community of Llanbradach and Pwllypant. This ward would go by the name Llanbradach.
The rest of the Ystrad Mynach area would make its own ward. It would include part of the Cefn Hengoed ward.
Hengoed ward, which is made up of Hengoed and Cefn Hengoed, would largely remain the same, though parts of Cefn Hengoed would be redistributed to other wards.
One of those wards is St Cattwg, which is made up of Penpedairheol, Gelligaer and Tir-y-berth.
The commission proposes to split the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen ward.
A new Machen and Rudry ward could be created under the proposals. It would be made up of the Machen ward of the community of Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen, and the community of Rudry.
Bedwas and Trethomas ward would be made up of the remainder of the Bedwas and Trethomas wards.
Van would form its own ward.
How many councillors would each ward have?
Four – Penyrheol.
Three – Aber Valley, Aberbargoed and Bargoed, Bedwas and Trethomas, Blackwood, Cefn Fforest and Pengam, Crosskeys and Ynysddu, Morgan Jones, Newbridge, Pontllanfraith, Risca East, St Cattwg, St Martins.
Two – Abercarn, Crumlin, Hengoed, Llanbradach, Machen and Rudry, Moriah and Pontlottyn, Nelson, New Tredegar, Penmaen, Risca West, Van, Ystrad Mynach.
One – Argoed, Darran Valley, Gilfach, Maesycwmmer, Twyn Carno.
How will this affect me?
If you live in one of the 15 wards where there are no proposed changes, then you will see no difference.
However, if you live in any of the other wards then the proposals, if approved, could affect who your ward representatives are, and which ward you would vote in for county borough council elections.
These proposals are still subject to change.
What happens next?
These proposals have been submitted to the Welsh Government for final consideration.
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