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 Devon.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Devon should be represented by 60 county councillors in the future: two fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 56 single-member electoral divisions and two two-member electoral divisions across the county.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Devon 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 Devon.”
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 North Devon, 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 for the four electoral divisions covering the Combe Martin Rural, Ilfracombe, Landkey & Chittlehampton and South Molton areas.
Elsewhere on the county, the Commission has altered its draft recommendations in light of local feedback during consultation. In East Devon the Commission has changed its recommendations for Broadclyst and Whimple & Blackdown divisions in order to reflect the boundary of the new parish of Cranbrook.
In Teignbridge, the Commission received local objections to its proposal to include the parish of Bickington in its Bovey Rural division. As a result of the evidence presented to it, the Commission has decided to change its recommendation so that Bickington parish is included in Ashburton & Buckfastleigh division.
In Exeter, the Commission received persuasive evidence amend the boundary between Alphington & Cowick and Exwick & St Thomas divisions. The Commission has altered its proposals slightly to reflect the evidence received.
As a result of submissions made during the consultation on its draft recommendations, the Commission has also amended the names of several divisions across Devon.
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
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