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Author Topic: Political and administrative boundaries - Reading and beyond  (Read 1492 times)
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2019, 07:21:14 am »

Fascinating though this debate undoubtedly is, since it has absolutely nothing to do with the railways, much less Thames Valley Infrastructure can it perhaps be moved to a more appropriate Forum? "The West" maybe?

Mods?
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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2019, 07:47:54 am »

Fascinating though this debate undoubtedly is, since it has absolutely nothing to do with the railways, much less Thames Valley Infrastructure can it perhaps be moved to a more appropriate Forum? "The West" maybe?

Mods?

Agreed ... but (personally) on a train headed through an area of know poor connectivity on my way to give a course.  Wouldn't dare tackle it straight away for fear of getting disconnected and leaving a mess during the day with things in funny, intermediate places.  From my B&B tonight (staying away) I will do it if no-one else has, and if my connectivity there is half-decent or better.
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4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2019, 10:13:03 pm »

Another example of strange local boundaries is at Earley station - the forecourt and car park are in Earley but the station itself is in Woodley!

At least that's only a parish boundary - I don't think they do anything important that affects railways, do they? The Reading/Wokingham division is more important, since it means things can't happen without some degree of collaboration or at least agreement. We saw that can go very wrong with the bus expressway thingy Reading wanted beside the Thames. But then the idea that you can do transport planning at such a low level is ... subunanimous.

More generally, putting the boundary inside greater Reading creates a lot of areas where both councils are involved. The Green Park one is particularly silly, as that bit of Wokingham is a detached fragment created by a previous boundary change. The boundary also divides Green (business) Park and Tesco's warehouse (ex-Bright Beer Factory), and the university's Whiteknights campus. The LGCE (Banham Commossion) had some fixed objectives for dismembering counties, one of which was to minimise joint working, and concluded that a population of 200,000 was enough to do everything (which it isn't, really). Newbury and Wokingham were too  small so had bits of Reading transferred to them. But, as we've seen, that boundary does not even minimise the need for joint working.
The Reading/Wokingham boundary through the University's Whiteknights Park estate also goes through some buildings, among other the Health and Life Sciences building, the Edith Morley building, the Henley Business School and some others.

It's bizarre - especially when the Reading and Wokingham councils have different views on many topics concerning further development of the site.
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stuving
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2019, 11:24:56 pm »

The Reading/Wokingham boundary through the University's Whiteknights Park estate also goes through some buildings, among other the Health and Life Sciences building, the Edith Morley building, the Henley Business School and some others.

It's bizarre - especially when the Reading and Wokingham councils have different views on many topics concerning further development of the site.

That boundary line is, of course, much older than the university - it's a parish boundary, endlessly reused as part of a build-your-own-administrative-area kit. The oldest map I can see with it marked is 1880s - and already it goes through Blandford Lodge on Pepper Lane (still there as part of the university). That comparison suggests that Google Earth has the line slightly out of position, so I'm not sure whether Edith Morley is just clear of being demarcated (as shown) or just caught. But it's only the bit right at the back, so I should be safe to go there again.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 11:04:06 am by stuving » Logged
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2019, 11:28:45 pm »

Quote from: 4064ReadingAbbey

The Reading/Wokingham boundary through the University's Whiteknights Park estate also goes through some buildings, among other the Health and Life Sciences building, the Edith Morley building, the Henley Business School and some others.

It's bizarre - especially when the Reading and Wokingham councils have different views on many topics concerning further development of the site.

But you can rest assured that when the border was last redrawn that building wasn't there. This is the problem with borders - they chamge over time to suit varying needs.

Parliamentary constituency borders are generally designed to equalise the numbers of electors in each constituency. For practical reasons (ie electoral administrtion including counts) they will generally follow county and district council/ unitary authority borders.

In the case of local authority borders, they will change over time to reflect growth (and indeed contraction) of populated areas. Where, for example, a town or city expands into the neighbouring countryside, it is normal for the town/ city boundary to expand with it. This is fine if the town or city expands over open countryside, but when it includes assimilation of existing settlements then problems can occur. An example follows:

In 1974 local government in the UK was reorganised and, amongst others, the County of Avon suddenly appeared out of thin air. The basic problem was that Bristol saw it as a sensible extension of their boundaries, whilst the residents of North Somerset and South Gloucesterhire saw it as Bristol taking them over, "occupying" them, if you like. The whole thing was doomed to failure because of this inherent tribalness, and fail it did.

Minor smidgeon of on-topic GWR content here - the first Labour leader of Avon County Council, Bill Graves, was ostensibly still a driver at Bristol Bath Road - not that we saw him in his uniform very often though...

Matters were not helped by the bureaucratic and heavy-handed way that the reorganistion was handled. I recall a situation that developed with people addressing letters to each other including the word "Rutland." They were told "You don't live in Rutland any more because Rutland no longer exists" to which the reply came "oh yes we f*****g do because we still f*****g live here!" Suffice to say, Rutland now exists again: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutland

So to close by going back to the original quote, sometimes the powers that be can have a quieter life by leaving a boundary where it is, even if it does now run through a building  Grin
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2019, 02:47:22 am »

Here is a photo of a more exciting example of a boundary going through a building, from Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog, a town which is in the Netherlands and Belgium. Some bits of Belgium are surrounded by Dutch territory and vice versa. This house has the border running through its front door.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2019, 05:25:06 am »

 Roll Eyes
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2019, 07:11:26 am »

Have just compared the Google Earth boundary with the current Ordnance Survey Boundary-Line data and there is no obvious difference.
You would have trouble convincing me that parliamentary constituencies are decided solely to equalise the number of electors (but maybe time on Northern Ireland biased me). Parliamentary constituencies do not follow unitary authority boundaries (in Berkshire), and in the case of the 2018 review did not follow the ceremonial county boundary either.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2019, 10:24:36 am »

Still don't know what any of this has to do with Infrastructure Problems.  Perhaps the moderators need to get their scissors out....... Roll Eyes Tongue
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2019, 12:44:06 pm »

Scissors duly exercised!
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grahame
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« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2019, 12:53:53 pm »

Scissors duly exercised!

Thanks, Richard
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2019, 02:30:35 pm »

I don't know Reading at all for me it's always been a place I pass through on my way to/from somewhere else (usually but not always London) but Bristol and its "leech like suburbs" (great phrase, thank you Reading General!) have been mentioned a couple of times now. AIUI the reason for those suburbs and some of them are quite inner being in South Glos and BANES rather than Bristol is that the residents were given a vote in the matter, and they chose <Not Bristol>, fearing that being part of the City (rather than just the city) would mean higher council taxes. Obviously there's also been 23 years of urban expansion since then, none of which has been taken account of directly but the recent creation of West of England Combined Authority (WECA) does attempt to address (perhaps not very well, but that's yet another topic). There are also old (1930s, I think) signs within the urban area marking the boundary of the "City and County of Bristol" as it was.

Moving away from transport to education, where I grew up in Stroud, the District had divided itself in two as regards school policies; these were separate educational systems, not just catchment areas, so if you lived in the eastern part, you did an 11+ and went to either a secondary modern or a... well, not quite a grammar school, because the grammars were in the western half which had a... well, not quite a comprehensive system. Full explanation would take too long, but there was a case where the boundary ran through a house and supposedly a decision had to be taken on which side of the boundary this child's bedroom lay.  Roll Eyes

And more recently in Gloucester, there was discontent when the western edge of the city (but still the city) was proposed to be joined to the Forest of Dean parliamentary constituency, in order to even up numbers. Didn't happen in the end.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2019, 02:36:27 pm »

Here is a photo of a more exciting example of a boundary going through a building, from Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog, a town which is in the Netherlands and Belgium. Some bits of Belgium are surrounded by Dutch territory and vice versa. This house has the border running through its front door.
There are similar examples on the Bangladesh-India border, some with enclaves inside enclaves, going down to individual buildings or smaller. All dating from which maharajah originally owned which land and whether they plumped for India or Pakistan back in 1947. The added excitement here is that Bangladeshis and Indians require visas to visit each other's countries. A visa can only be obtained by visiting the consulate and if the patch of India or Bangladesh you live in is only a few houses... It also plays havoc with services like water, electricity, hospitals...
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2019, 06:36:20 pm »

Here is a photo of a more exciting example of a boundary going through a building, from Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog, a town which is in the Netherlands and Belgium. Some bits of Belgium are surrounded by Dutch territory and vice versa. This house has the border running through its front door.
There are similar examples on the Bangladesh-India border, some with enclaves inside enclaves, going down to individual buildings or smaller. All dating from which maharajah originally owned which land and whether they plumped for India or Pakistan back in 1947. The added excitement here is that Bangladeshis and Indians require visas to visit each other's countries. A visa can only be obtained by visiting the consulate and if the patch of India or Bangladesh you live in is only a few houses... It also plays havoc with services like water, electricity, hospitals...

The Bangladesh - India issue is almost no more. There's been a massive shuffle around and only one remains ...

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%E2%80%93Bangladesh_enclaves
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2019, 08:54:17 pm »

All explained here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-aIzkvPwFo
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