Councillors agree draft boundary proposals
As part of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England consultation on the Wiltshire Council electoral review, Wiltshire councillors recently agreed draft proposals which detail what the divisional boundaries in the county could look like from 2021.
A key priority has been the retention of all area boards.
In August the Local Government Boundary Commission for England reported that it was ‘minded to' propose that Wiltshire should keep the current number of councillors - 98.
That decision followed a submission by Wiltshire Council.
The council argued that it was essential to retain its area boards based on distinct communities as executive committees with decision making powers, and a reduction in councillors would have put them at risk. This was accepted by the commission.
Since then, the council's cross-party Electoral Review Committee has met publicly to develop and recommend divisional boundary proposals to full council. Workshops were also held to which all councillors were invited. Submissions were also received from many of our towns and parishes. These discussions shaped the draft design of the boundaries.
The draft submission was discussed at the October meeting of full council and backed by councillors with none voting against the proposal and only two abstaining.
The document will now be finalised and submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England who will produce their draft recommendations in February 2019. The precise boundaries of area boards from the 2021 election will need to be determined by Wiltshire Council once the Boundary Commission has finalised its proposals.
Richard Clewer, the chairman of Wiltshire Council's Electoral Review Committee, said: "Our committee has worked tirelessly to get everyone's feedback and ensure the process is as fair as possible to meet the commission's criteria, including electoral equality and community cohesion.
"We know that people might see the headline of ‘Council keeps 98 councillors and retains area boards' and assume there will be no changes, but that isn't the whole picture at all. I ask that people take a good look at the draft plan as this would have an impact on people and communities right across the county."
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England's conclusions on the size and boundaries of council divisions is open for public consultation until 5 November 2018. Any parties interested in making a submission should contact the Local Government Boundary Commission for England at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/14518
The Wiltshire Council Electoral Review Committee will accept copies of any submissions at the same time right up to the deadline. They should be sent to email@example.com
Wiltshire Council's original submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission and other information can be found at https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/mgGeneric.aspx?MD=ElectoralReview&bcr=1