Today’s publication follows a ten-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Rochford.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Rochford should be represented by 39 district councillors in the future: the same as the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent thirteen three-member wards across the district.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Rochford 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 district, 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 Rochford.”
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 December 2014. For example, the Commission has amended its draft recommendations so that Deepdene Avenue and Dene Gardens are included in Downhall & Rawreth ward rather than Grange ward as previously proposed. The Commission received local representations during consultation that the alternative arrangement provided a more identifiable boundary as well as following the existing county division boundary.
The Commission also proposes to alter the boundaries of its proposed Trinity ward as a result of local views submitted to it. As such, Queens Road and Broad Oak Way will be included in the Trinity ward rather than Wheatley ward as previously recommended. The new proposal ensures that the boundary follows the existing county division boundary and is more identifiable. In the west of the proposed Wheatley ward, the Commission has also accepted arguments that the boundary should run along the county division boundary which would avoid the need for new parish electoral arrangements in this part of the district.
The Commission also proposes to change some of the names of the wards it put forward as part of its draft recommendations in response to local feedback. As such, Grange ward is re-named Sweyne Park & Grange. In addition, Foulness & Great Wakering ward is re-named as Foulness and The Wakerings. Finally, and as a result of representations made during public consultation, the Commission proposes to change its proposed ward names for Rochford North ward and Rochford South ward. Instead, the Commission proposes that the wards should be called Roche North & Rural ward and Roche South ward.
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: 0330 500 1525 / 1250 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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