Cherwell District Council is currently conducting a Governance Review of the parishes included in its boundaries. Kidlington Parish Council has asked that this should include the possibility of a merger with Gosford and Water Eaton (GWE) Parish or failing that the redrawing of the boundary between the two parishes.
Residents of both parishes have now received a consultation letter from the District Council.
Kidlington currently has 14,000 or more residents, GWE about 1,400. Most of GWE is in the triangle between the two Bicester Roads and the main Oxford Road (P on the consultation letter). For all practical purposes this area is part of Kidlington. It includes the school where most Kidlington children study, and its residents mostly use Kidlington Parish facilities. The rest of GWE is a small number of houses to the East of the North-South Bicester link road, though the number of houses will increase very considerably with the new developments that are currently planned.
We think it is in residents' interests that the two parishes should merge for the following reasons:
- the current division between the two parishes is a historical accident which no longer has any real justification;
- we would all benefit from the sharing of facilties and staff;
- most importantly because there is strength in numbers: we would be in a stronger position to represent residents' interests;
- in particular, a merged council would be better placed to resist the further encroachments on the Geen Belt that we are likely to be threatened with.
As an alternative, we think that the boundary between the two parishes should be redrawn along the North-South Bicester link road, which would form a much more natural boundary between the two parishes. This means that the area marked P on the consultation letter would become part of Kidlington Parish.
Plan in the District Council's consultation letter.