The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Hertfordshire County Council.
The recommendations propose that Hertfordshire should be represented by 78 county councillors in the future: one more than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 78 single-member electoral divisions across the county.
Today’s publication follows a twelve-week public consultation on its draft proposals at the end of last year. In February 2015, the Commission opened an additional phase of consultation for the Stevenage area where it put forward new county division boundaries for the borough. The Commission has now considered evidence from both consultation exercises and publishes new electoral division boundaries for the whole of Hertfordshire.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Hertfordshire 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 Hertfordshire.”
In response to representations made to it on the draft recommendations, the Commission has made changes to the proposals it originally put forward last year. For example, the Commission has agreed to make substantial alterations to the recommendations it originally put forward for Stevenage so that the borough’s six electoral divisions better reflect local community interests and identities. The extent of the changes meant that the Commission held an additional phase of consultation on new division boundaries for Stevenage in February and March and now confirms those further draft recommendations as final. The Commission has decided that its later proposals use stronger, more identifiable boundaries across Stevenage and give a better reflection of the shape of local communities in the borough.
In response to local representations on the draft recommendations, the Commission has also changed its recommendations in Dacorum borough so that the parish of Aldbury will be part of the Tring division rather than Bridgewater division as previously proposed.
In Three Rivers district, the Commission has taken account of local representations made during consultation so that the Loudwater area is part of an electoral division with Chorleywood rather than Croxley Green as previously proposed.
In St Albans, the Commission has responded to submission made by local representations that the area off New House Park shared closer community ties with St Albans than with the London Colney area. As a result, the Commission has altered its recommendations to reflect those views so that the area in question will now be part of the St Albans East electoral division.
The Commission has also amended its draft proposals in St Albans so that the whole of Ragged Hall Lane is included in the St Stephen’s division rather than being divided between divisions as put forward last year.
Elsewhere in Hertfordshire, the Commission has listened to local views on the draft recommendations and has made changes to some of the names it originally put forward last year. For example, in East Hertfordshire, Braughing division is re-named as Buntingford. Similarly, in North Hertfordshire, the Commission proposes to re-name the Royston East division as Royston East & Ermine and Letchworth North-West as Letchworth North to reflect the areas included in the divisions.
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 1525 / 1250 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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