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Bedford Borough Council requested the development of electorate forecasts for two separate geographical areas, The Parish of Elstow and Cardington.
The forecasts required were for the 2016-2021 period.
Elstow Parish, located to the south of Bedford, with a registered electorate population in the MA and MB polling districts of 2,223 in 2014 and 2,286 in 2015.
Cardington Parish was a sparsely populated area of land with an electorate population of 269 in 2015, and it was published in the local plan that over 400 dwellings were to be built over the forecast horizon.
Edge Analytics used POPGROUP demographic forecasting software as the basis for analysing historical demographic change and to produce the forecast of electoral growth in Elstow and Cardington Parish
The forecasts were generated using a ‘dwelling-led’ formulation of the POPGROUP model, with population change driven by an expected trajectory of new housing growth to 2020/21.
POPGROUP uses a cohort-component model for population forecasting and the Derived-Forecast model for household and dwelling estimation.
Based on the trajectory of planned, low housing growth the total population of Elstow Parish was forecast to decrease slightly from its 2016 value of 2,816 to 2,770 by 2022. The population of Cardington Parish was expected to grow to 817 by 2022.
To derive the electorate forecasts, statistics were used total generate an ‘electorate ratio’ for both parishes.