The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Colchester Borough Council.
Today’s publication follows a twelve-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Colchester.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Colchester should be represented by 51 councillors in the future: nine fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 17 three-member wards across the borough.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Colchester 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 borough, 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 Colchester.”
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 in October 2014. For example, the Commission proposes to alter the proposed boundary between Highwoods ward and St Anne’s & St John’s ward so that it runs along Ipswich Road.
As a result of feedback during consultation, the Commission also proposes to include the New Braiswick Park area in Mile End ward as a better reflection of local community identities.
On the strength of evidence received, the Commission has also modified the southern boundary of the proposed Christ Church ward. In particular, the final recommendations are that the Canterbury Road area and area around St George’s school should be included in the ward which is re-named New Town & Christ Church.
The Commission also proposes to re-name the proposed Old Heath ward as Old Heath & The Hythe ward in response to representations received.
Elsewhere in the borough, the Commission has made minor changes to the draft recommendations as a result of representations made during consultation. 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 council elections in 2016.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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