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Local electoral arrangements for Buckinghamshire finalised

16th January 2012

Local electoral arrangements for Buckinghamshire finalised

17th January 2012

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Buckinghamshire County Council.

Today’s publication follows a 12-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each electoral division in Buckinghamshire. The draft recommendations, published in July 2011, provided for a council of 49 county councillors (a reduction of eight compared to the current arrangements) and the Commission today confirms that figure in its final recommendations.

The Commission’s final report also confirms a pattern of 49 single-member electoral divisions across the county.

Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We’re extremely grateful to the people of Buckinghamshire who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.

“While our final recommendations are still broadly based on the County Council’s own proposals, we have made some changes to the draft recommendations put forward in July in response to the views submitted to us during the consultation.

“In Aylesbury Vale District, for example, we’ve opted to include the parish of Thornborough in Buckingham East division rather than Winslow division as suggested in the draft recommendations.

“Similarly, we have changed our recommendation for a Stone and Waddesdon division to ensure that there is public access across the River Thame.

“In Wycombe District, we’ve amended the boundary between the Marlow division and the Flackwell Heath, Little Marlow & Marlow South-East division as a result of a proposal put to us by Marlow Town Council.

“Overall, our recommendations for Buckinghamshire will deliver electoral equality for voters across the county where the value of your vote is similar regardless of where you live in the county. We also believe that our final recommendations reflect, as far as possible, the identities and interests of local communities across Buckinghamshire.”

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 next few months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the next county council elections in May 2013.

Ends

For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530

or email: press@lgbce.org.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, e.g. defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected and – separately - for conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structure.
2. In its final recommendations, the Commission is proposing some changes to the draft recommendations it published in July 2011 in response to its consultation with local people and organisations:
  • In Aylesbury Vale District, for example, the Commission has opted to include the parish of Thornborough in Buckingham East division rather than Winslow division as suggested in the draft recommendations.
  • The consultation process also alerted the Commission to the fact that our draft recommendations meant that there was no public access from the south of our proposed Stone & Waddesdon division to the north and over the River Thame. The Commission has sought to rectify that situation by ensuring that the parishes of Ashendon, Cuddington and Nether Winchendon are included in the Stone & Waddesdon division which provides public access over the river.
  • In Wycombe District, the Commission received comments on its draft recommendations for the Marlow division from the County Council, Marlow Town Council and The Marlow Society. The Marlow Society argued that the town should be contained within one division and not split as proposed by the draft recommendations. However, the town of Marlow contains to many electors to be included in a single division without causing very high levels of electoral inequality. Instead, the Commission has accepted Marlow Town Council’s proposed amendment to the boundary between Marlow division and our proposed Flackwell Heath, Little Marlow & Marlow South-East division so that both sides of Glade Road between Little Marlow Road and Claremont Road are included in the Marlow division. The Commission considered all the evidence presented to it and further details about its recommendations for every part of the county are available in the full report on its website.
3. Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk .
4. The electoral review of Buckinghamshire County Council is a separate undertaking from the current review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which is being carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.