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Local electoral arrangements for Gloucestershire finalised

18th October 2011

Local electoral arrangements for Gloucestershire finalised

2011-10-18T10:00:00:00+00:00

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Gloucestershire County Council.

Today’s publication follows a 10-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each electoral division in Gloucestershire. The draft recommendations, published in May 2011, provided for a council of 53 county councillors (a reduction of ten from the current arrangements) and the Commission today confirms that figure in its final recommendations.

The Commission’s final report also confirms a pattern of 53 single-member electoral divisions across the county, a pattern of divisions requested by Gloucestershire County Council.

Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We’re extremely grateful to the people of Gloucestershire who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.

“In response to the views submitted to us during the consultation, we are proposing some changes to the proposals we put forward in May. In Cheltenham, the Commission received excellent evidence from local people who disagreed with our proposed Prestbury & Swindon electoral division. After considering all the evidence we received, our final recommendations propose a Pittville & Prestbury division based on the boundaries of the current district wards of Pittville and Prestbury. We believe that such an arrangement will better reflect the shared communications links and community identities in that part of the county. In turn, we think a St Paul’s & Swindon division would also reflect community interests better than our draft recommendations.

“In Gloucester City, in response to evidence presented to us, we have also made an amendment to our draft proposals which mean that the Lannett area is no longer split between electoral divisions and, instead, is included – as a whole – in a Hemspted & Westgate division.

“The Commission was also persuaded to change the proposed names of some electoral divisions so that they better reflect communities in the county. For example, we are proposing to change the proposed Tewksbury Newtown ward to Tewksbury East as a result of representations received. In addition, in Stroud District, we propose to alter our original Cam division to Cam Valley as it better reflects the nature of the electoral division.

“Our recommendations for Gloucestershire will deliver electoral equality for voters across the county where the value of your vote is similar regardless of where you live in Gloucestershire. Our final recommendations also deliver single-member divisions across the county as the county council requested us to achieve. Crucially, we also believe that our final recommendations reflect, as far as possible, the identities and interests of local communities across the county.”

The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament. A draft Order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in Parliament in the next few months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the next county council elections in May 2013.

Ends

For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530

or email: press@lgbce.org.uk

Notes to editors:

1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, e.g. defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected and – separately - for conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structure.

2. In its final recommendations, the Commission is proposing some changes to the draft recommendations it published in May 2011 in response to its consultation with local people and organisations: 

  • In Cheltenham Borough, the Commission is recommending to move away from its initial recommendation for a Prestbury & Swindon division in favour of a Pittville & Prestbury division and a St Paul’s & Swindon division which better reflects community identities in that part of the county.
  • In Gloucester City, the Commission proposes to alter its proposals for Hempsted & Westgate and Barton & Tredworth so that the area of the Lannett is included – as a whole – in a single electoral division. In Gloucester City, the Commission also proposes to alter its proposed boundary between the divisions of Barnwood & Hucclecote and Coney Hill & Matson so that it intersects at the railway line instead of following the A38 which the Commission considers to be a stronger boundary.
  • In Gloucester, the Commission also proposes to rename its proposed Lower Tuffley & Quedgeley New Town division as Grange & Kingsway to better reflect local communities.
  • In Stroud District, the Commission proposes to rename Cam division as Cam Valley division.
  • In Tewksbury District, the Commission proposes to change the name of its proposed Tewksbury Newtown to Tewksbury East as a result of representations received.
  • The Commission also received submissions regarding its proposals for Wotton-under-Edge division and Stroud Central division in Stroud District as well as comments on its proposed Drybrook & Lydbrook division in Forest of Dean district. The Commission is confirming its draft recommendations as final because, having considered alternative proposals, it believes its draft recommendations for those areas deliver high levels of electoral equality for local voters as well as reflecting, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities.

3. The Commission’s final recommendations allocate the following county councillors to each district:

  • Cheltenham Borough – ten councillors.
  • Cotswold District – eight councillors.
  • Forest of Dean District – eight councillors.
  • Gloucester City – ten councillors.
  • Stroud District – ten councillors.
  • Tewksbury Borough – seven councillors.

4. Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk .

5. The electoral review of Gloucestershire County Council is a separate undertaking from the current review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which is being carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.