The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Cambridgeshire County Council.
Today’s publication follows two phases of public consultation on its draft proposals last year and draws new boundaries for each county electoral division across Cambridgeshire.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Cambridgeshire should be represented by 61 county councillors in the future: eight fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 51 single-member electoral divisions and five two-member electoral divisions across the county.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Cambridgeshire who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.
“Across the county, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements. As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities in Cambridgeshire.”
In response to representations made to it on the draft recommendations, the Commission has made changes to the draft proposals it originally put forward for consultation. For example, in Cambridge City, the Commission carried out an extra phase of consultation because it proposed significant changes to the original recommendations. The new pattern of electoral divisions provides a better reflection of local community ties in Market, Petersfield and Romsey areas of the city.
In Cambridge, the Commission has also responded to local feedback which objected to its proposed Castle & Newnham division which would have been represented by two county councillors. The Commission’s final recommendations propose that the area should be represented by two electoral divisions, called Castle and Newnham, which are represented by one county councillor.
In Fenland, the Commission has changed its recommendations for Wisbech in response to representations made to it during public consultation. The final pattern of divisions for Wisbech now mean that the electoral divisions for the county match the boundaries of the existing district wards.
For Huntingdonshire, the Commission has also changed its recommendations in light of public responses to the consultation. For example, Wyton-on-the-Hill parish will now be part of the St Ives North & Wyton division rather than Somersham & Earith and originally proposed. Respondents to the consultation argued that the parish shared closer community ties with St Ives.
In addition, the Commission has decided to rename its proposed Norman Cross division as Sawtry & Stilton division following a local proposal.
For South Cambridgeshire, the Commission has altered the proposed boundaries of several electoral divisions so that they better reflect local community ties. For example, Boxworth, Childerley and Knapwell parishes will be part of the Papworth & Swavesey division. Similarly, Lolworth parish will be part of the Bar Hill division, Madingley parish becomes part of Hardwick division and Pampisford parish should be part of the Duxford division.
The Commission also received local representations to include the parishes of Great Shelford, Little Shelford and Stapleford parishes in the same division. The Commission’s draft recommendations had included Stapleford in a different electoral division from the other two parishes. In response to the views expressed, the Commission has altered its recommendations so that all three parishes are included in a Sawston & Shelford division which will be represented by two county councillors.
Elsewhere in the county, the Commission has made minor alterations to its draft recommendations to reflect local feedback.
The Commission’s remaining draft recommendations are confirmed as final.
Full details of the final recommendations are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.
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 coming months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the county council elections in 2017.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250 / 1525 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England 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. Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at: www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/cambridgeshire/cambridgeshire-county-council.