The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Canterbury City Council.
Today’s publication follows a ten-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Canterbury and surrounding areas.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Canterbury should be represented by 39 councillors in the future, eleven fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent seven single-member wards, ten two-member wards and four three-member wards across the council area.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Canterbury and surrounding areas 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 Canterbury and the wider council area, 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 across Canterbury.”
In light of feedback received during the public consultation, the Commission proposes to alter some of the recommendations it put forward in March. For example, in the rural southern part of the district, the Commission has moved away from its original proposal for a two-member Barham, Bridge & Littlebourne ward in favour of two single-member wards called Little Stour & Adisham and Nailbourne. The Commission was persuaded that two smaller wards in this part of the district would be a better reflection of local community identities.
Elsewhere, the Commission has listened to evidence presented to it during consultation and has changed part of its recommendations to the south of Canterbury. The final recommendations mean that the whole of Thanington Without parish will be included in the Wincheap ward rather than split between wards as previously proposed.
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 council elections in 2015.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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