The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Cumbria County Council.
Today's publication follows a 14-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each electoral division in Cumbria. The draft recommendations, published in October 2011, provided for a council of 84 county councillors, the same as the current arrangements, and the Commission today confirms that figure in its final recommendations.
The Commission's final report also confirms a pattern of 84 single-member electoral divisions across the county.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, "We're extremely grateful to the people of Cumbria who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.
"In response to the views submitted to us during the consultation, we are proposing some changes to the recommendations we put forward in late last year.
"In Copeland, we've made changes to the proposed electoral division boundaries in the Millom area. We had originally proposed to split the town between two divisions but, in response to submissions received during consultation, we are now proposing that the town should be contained within a single Millom division with a separate Millom Without division to cover the outlying area.
"In Kendal, we've decided to accept a number of changes proposed to us by Kendal Town Council. Their evidence put forward alternative boundaries in their area which we agree would provide stronger boundaries whilst also delivering electoral equality for local voters.
"Similarly, in Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness and Carlisle, we are proposing to change some of the names of the divisions we put forward last year as a result of feedback we received from local people and groups.
"Across the whole 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, namely to deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the interests of communities across the county and promoting effective local government.
"Overall, our recommendations for Cumbria 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 Cumbria."
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.
For further information contact the Commission's press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534
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1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, e.g. defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected and â€“ separately - for conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structure.
2. The Commission conducted the electoral review of Cumbria because the county currently has significant electoral imbalances. Dalston and Cummersdale division in Carlisle, for example, has 33% more electors than the average for the county while Moss Bay division in Allerdale has 27% fewer. The situation means that the value of your vote varies, in county council elections, depending on where you live in Cumbria.
3. Full details of the Commission's final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/north-west/cumbria/cumbria-county-council-fer
4. The electoral review of Cumbria 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.