Nottingham Boundaries

John Cockcroft writes; I read with interest the stirrings of change in the proposed boundaries of Districts, County and City. I have long been amazed at the silly constricted boundaries of Nottingham and the fact that I am cut off from the City that I live in and have no say in how it is run. Even if Beeston, West Bridgford and Arnold were in the city they could still have considerable local say and influence but could also benefit from being within a large and powerful city that actually reflects the fact that they are suburbs of greater Nottingham.

The County now wants to de-democratise the whole of its nebulous area, and leave our City isolated in a dead and uninspired slab of land with no reason for its existence other than it was a medieval hunting forest. It is the County that should be dispersed and dissolved, not the meaningful smaller towns and the great City of Nottingham.

I attach a piece I drafted ages ago about this and recently refined giving some ideas about why Nottingham needs to get together and fight its corner in a more competitive national context.

See: Nottingham – Half City


  1. Glad I’m not a lone voice – we all have agendas but I really believe that common sense derives from the people who live with the decisions others make and how they react to them.
    Tracking through the Byzantine layers of bureaucracy that exist with segregated responsibilities is daunting.
    Mega administrations confuse us all – something close to home which has informed citizens involved must be preferable to this distant proposal from the NCC.
    A local councillor who can go directly to his officers and get an answer, whether actionable or not, would be preferable to the current “Buck passing”.
    Changing age old criteria will never be easy but needs to be debated with the full knowledge of the consequences; unlike Brexit.



  2. Ian,
    Would you therefore call for a change in the eligibility rules for borough councillors – that they should be (or become within, say, 12 months of being elected) residents in the ward they represent?
    That way, those who make local decisions about land use would have to live with the consequences of those decisions and alongside the others who are having to do so as well?



    1. I think that would be a possible option as wards would almost certainly become larger or the number of councillors reduce.
      The oath that councillors take is quite clear that councillors have a responsibility for the whole borough not just their ward .
      Sadly there are often not enough candidates from within the wards .


  3. A very sensible and considered argument as to why Nottingham’s oddly constricted boundaries need to be enlarged.


    1. This week the County Council has approved a motion to progress the idea that they should take over all responsibilities within the county and abolish all the districts. This would remove direct democratic responsibility from local communities and would be most damaging to places like Newark, Mansfield, the Ashfields and Retford. It would be the kiss of death to Nottingham as a major player in any devolved regional government when compared with Leeds or Manchester or any of the core cities in Britain. So it is vital that if there is to be this change that the City of Nottingham is enlarged to include it’s suburbs and be given the opportunity to compete on equal terms with these already larger cities.

      Whereas an enlarged County would be a dead hand on the development of the region – it’s abolition and replacement with more realistic areas reflecting the modern world could be a dynamic engine for the development of the East Midlands. A unitary enlarged City of Nottingham could work in partnership with Derby and a new mid Nottinghamshire authority to energise the whole region – a role that the medieval County has signally failed to perform. Modern society is about city regions. The metropolitan regions in the north and west are in pole position to grab the initiative and leave Nottingham and the East Midlands behind. Even though we are all happy to live in Bramcote we must both accept change and ensure it gives us our voice in the City we are all proud of – in the County we would be nothing.


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