The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Newcastle City Council.
Today’s publication follows an eight-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Newcastle.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Newcastle should be represented by 78 councillors in the future: the same as the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 26 three-member wards across the city.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Newcastle 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 city, 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 Newcastle.”
In response to representations made to the Commission during consultation, the Commission has changed its recommendations in parts of the city. For example, the final proposals use the Metro line as the boundary between the Castle ward and the Kingston Park South & Newbiggin Hall ward. The Commission believes its final proposals for the area are a better reflection of local community identities and provides a recognisable boundary between wards.
During consultation, residents in the eastern part of the city also told the Commission that the Benton Lodge estate shared community ties with the Dene ward rather than Manor Park ward where it had originally been included by the Commission. In addition, submissions from the Jesmond Park West area suggested that the community should be part of the Manor Park ward. The Commission was persuaded by the local evidence and has amended its recommendations so that each community is included in the ward with which it shares closer community identity.
Elsewhere in the city, the Commission has made minor changes to its recommendations in response to local feedback so that the final boundaries are locally identifiable and community ties are maintained.
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 2018.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250/1525 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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