The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Hampshire County Council.
Today’s publication follows two phases of public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each county electoral division across Hampshire.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Hampshire should be represented by 78 county councillors in the future: the same as the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 74 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 Hampshire 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 Hampshire.”
In response to representations made to it during consultation, the Commission has made changes to the draft proposals it originally put forward for consultation in December 2015. The Commission carried out a further phase of consultation in May on new proposals for Havant borough and New Forest district.
In East Hampshire, the Commission has altered its proposals in the Alton area so that the current division boundaries are retained.
In Eastleigh, the Commission had proposed to divide Botley between electoral divisions. In response to local feedback, the Commission has amended the recommendations so that the village is wholly contained in a Botley & Hedge End North division. The Commission was persuaded that its new pattern of electoral divisions is a better reflection of local community ties and identities.
In Havant, the Commission held two phases of public consultation on its draft recommendations. When it published its original recommendations in November 2015, a proposal was made for a new pattern of divisions for the Bedhampton, Havant and Emsworth areas. The Commission adopted the new pattern and published it for consultation in May 2016. In response to the second consultation, the Commission received a mixture of support and opposition for the new proposals. After examining all the evidence, the Commission has decided that its original draft proposals provide the best balance of the criteria it must follow for electoral reviews. The final recommendations therefore are for an Emsworth & St Faiths division, a North East Havant division and a North West Havant division: each to be represented by one county councillor.
In New Forest district, the Commission held an extra phase of consultation which opened in May. It published new proposals for the district due to local feedback on its original recommendations which suggested significant changes to division boundaries. The Commission has made one further change to the recommendations it published in May, namely to include the parish of Hyde in Lyndhurst & Fordingbridge division rather than Ringwood division.
In Rushmoor borough, the Commission received persuasive evidence that it should make a minor amendment to its draft proposal in Farnborough so that Middleton Gardens, Newfield Road and part of Fernhill Road are included in Farnborough North division rather than Farnborough West division as previously proposed.
For Test Valley, the Commission has listened to local views on its draft proposals and has changed the recommendations so that the Crampmoor area is included in Romsey Rural division and the parish of Mottisfont becomes part of the Test Valley Central division.
In Winchester, the Commission had previously proposed that the parish of Soberton should be divided between divisions. However, after considering evidence provided during consultation, the Commission’s final recommendations are that the parish should be wholly included in the Winchester Southern Parishes electoral division.
Elsewhere in the county, the Commission has proposed to change the names of some proposed divisions in light of suggestions put to it during the public 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 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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