New ward boundaries for elections in Reading have been confirmed today, increasing the number of councillors to 48 and redrawing all but one ward.

Two extra councillors will be added to Reading Borough Council (RBC) from 2022 and there will be 16 wards with three councillors each.

All wards except Park ward will change, while the one-member Mapledurham ward will be replaced by fully-stocked new ward Caversham Heights.

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The recommendations, from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, were finalised today and must now be approved by parliament.

Publishing the recommendations, Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “We are very grateful to people in Reading. We looked at all the views they gave us. They helped us improve our earlier proposals.

“We believe the new arrangements will guarantee electoral fairness while maintaining local ties.”

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The LGBCE says the new electoral arrangements will come into effect at RBC’s local elections in 2022, which will be a one-off all-council election for all 48 seats.

The review aimed to ensure councillors represent a similar number of electors and that ward arrangements will help the council work effectively.

Comments from 49 people and organisations were considered when deciding the new wards.

Changes in response to feedback included:

  • The centre of Caversham moves from Thames ward to Caversham ward.
  • All residential properties on Northcourt Avenue will be within Church ward, while the university buildings will remain in Redlands ward.

The council has been approached for a clarification on what the changes mean for elections in the coming years.

This year’s election was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and normally 2021 would have been a fallow year with no elections.