The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.
Today’s publication follows an eight-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Welwyn Hatfield.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Welwyn Hatfield should be represented by 48 councillors in the future: the same as the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 16 three-member wards across the borough.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Welwyn Hatfield 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 borough, 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 Welwyn Hatfield.”
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 August. For example, the Commission proposes that the area around Bridge Road at the northern end of Welwyn Garden City centre should be part of the Handside ward rather than Sherrards ward as proposed in the draft recommendations. The Commission received strong evidence about local ties in this part of the borough which persuaded it to change the proposals.
In light local submissions, the Commission has also changed its draft recommendations so that part of the boundary between Welwyn East and Welwyn West wards should follow the A1(M) rather than the A1000 as previously put forward for consultation.
Elsewhere in the borough, the Commission has confirmed its draft recommendations 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 council elections in 2016.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250/1525 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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