The 2011 Sedgemoor District Council elections will be fought on new ward boundaries. For a quick guide to these we explain what has changed.
BRIDGWATER HAMP;- Hamp in the South of Bridgwater has been reduced from 3 to 2 councillors and has lost the Taunton road plus streets off (ashleigh/old taunton rd etc) to the new central Westover ward. Hamp is now largely the traditional estate plus the new houses along Wills road. Traditionally this ward has been 100% Labour.
BRIDGWATER EASTOVER;- The eastern side of the town between the river and the railway line remains unchanged and continues with 2 councillors. This ward has always been Labour apart from one 4 year period with 1 Tory which occured during the Labour split of 1987.
BRIDGWATER VICTORIA:- This 2 member ward has been moved northward and divested of the town centre elements so that it basically starts at victoria park and includes Kendale rd and Chilton street plus the new houses along the NDR. It has traditionally been 100% Labour.
BRIDGWATER FAIRFAX;- This North Sydenham ward is a new orientation and divides the old sydenham ward along the fairfax road junction with parkway across the school fields to include the bulk of the former Bower manor estate. A 3 member ward this area has been hisrically Labour but now includes elements of the Tory periphery.
BRIDGWATER DUNWEAR:- This South Sydenham ward includes the Longstone and Saxon green parts of the old sydenham ward plus the Bridge estate. Generally Labour this 2 member ward has included Tory elements in bad years.
BRIDGWATER WESTOVER:- This newly created ward takes the town centre from victoria, including the docks, and Camden rd then adds on the working class West street & Friarn avenue area plus the Wembdon rd and off shoots up to Northfields then the former Hamp area of Taunton road down to the start of Rhode lane and streets off including Lakeside and Old Taunton rd. A Labour leaning area with a hint of Tory this ward returns 2 members for district but 3 for town.
BRIDGWATER WYNDHAM:- The 'Durleigh' end of the town (formerly 'Quantock') which has now been reduced to 2 members on the western edge including the co-op estate plus quantock and durleigh roads. Traditionally a safe Tory area.
Whilst Bridgwater town & Council have traditionally been labour dominated, outside of Bridgwater ,Labour wards have traditionally been few and far between. But in order of historical significance they now line up as follows.
HIGHBRIDGE;- a 3 member ward. Largely LibDem leaning these days but the districts key marginal for the last 20 years swinging between all 3 parties. 30 years ago and beyond, Highbridge was a safe Labour seat.
PURITON & WOOLAVINGTON:- Previously 2 seperate wards during which time Woolavington was largely labour and Puriton largely Tory-but on occaision LibDem, they have now been united as one 2 member ward. Currently Tory dominated.
KINGS ISLE;- The moorlands ward including Weston zoyland, Chedzoy,Bawdrip and Moddlezoy has traditionally been Tory with a hint of independent. It's the area the Greens usually put their main effort into and some large labour votes on occaision. 2 member ward.
BURNHAM SOUTH/CENTRAL :- Traditionally a Lib Dem dominated ward this area has recently been Tory majority with an elememnt of Lib Dem. Labour usually stands but has never made an impact. 3 members.
MARK & WEDMORE;- Solid rural Tory ward which once returned a libdem for 1 term. 2 members
HUNTSPILL & PAWLETT;- Tory ward which has sometimes been Lib Dem. Boundary changes reduce it to a 1 member ward.
NORTH PETHERTON;- When Petherton was a 2 member ward based just on the town it was usually independent and once returned a libdem. Labour usually stands but hasn't made a big impact. Recently Petherton ward has expanded to include all surrounding villagesto the Sedgemoor boundaries around it, to the river in the east and to the Bridgwater boundary in the north. A 3 member ward.
CANNINGTON & WEMBDON:- The 'sandford ward' which was previously wembdon and chilton trinity now includes Cannington which has been taken out of its massive Quantock hinterland thus making it a Tory/LibDem marginal. 2 members.
AXEVALE:- Combining the Axbridge ward-which has sometimes been Lib Dem with occaisonal Labour challenge, has been incorporated into the surrounding Axe Vale area thus making it more Tory inclined. 2 members.
WEST POLDEN;- A 1 member Tory ward around Chilton polden and Catcott. Always Tory but occaisional labour opposition.
EAST POLDEN:- A 1 member Tory ward (currently McGinty) based around Ashcott.
BERROW:- The Berrow and Brean coastal area. Historically independent but recently Tory. Has had LibDem challenges but without success. 1 member.
KNOLL:- A newly expanded ward to include a large swathe of land surrounding Highbridge and following the M5 from Lympsham down through Edithmead to East Huntspill. 2 members. Historically Tory.
CHEDDAR & SHIPHAM:- a 3 member ward which has only ever been tory.
NORTH BURNHAM:- a 3 member ward which has only ever been tory.
QUANTOCKS:- From the edges of Cannington out to the west Somerset border this totally rural ward is strong tory country and will return 2 members.