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Local electoral arrangements for Slough finalised

3rd May 2012

Local electoral arrangements for Slough finalised

8th May 2012

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

Today’s publication follows a nine-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward in Slough.

The draft recommendations, published in December 2011, provided for a council of 42 councillors (one more than the current arrangements) and the Commission today confirms that figure in its final recommendations.

The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Slough’s 42 councillors should represent 13 three-member wards, one two-member ward and one single-member ward.

The Commission’s final report makes some changes to its draft proposals as a result of the feedback presented to it by local people and organisations.

Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We’re extremely grateful to the people of Slough 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 December.

“For example, we have decided that no ward in Slough should straddle the motorway. So instead of the three-member ward we previously proposed for Colnbrook & Langley East, we are now proposing that there should be a two-member Colnbrook with Poyle ward to the south of the motorway with a single-member Foxborough ward immediately to the north of the M4.

“We’ve made this change to our recommendations as a result of the persuasive evidence that was presented to us by Colnbrook with Poyle Parish Council and others. On the balance, and on the basis of the evidence we’ve received, we believe that the M4 represents a major barrier to access across the proposed ward and that we should move away from our pattern of three-member wards in this part of Slough only.

“We’ve also made an alteration to our proposed Central ward so that its north west boundary with Elliman ward should be Stoke Road. The Commission agreed that the proposed change would better reflect community interests and identities in Slough.

“Across the whole 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, namely to deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the interests of communities across the county and promoting effective local government.”

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 council elections in 2014.

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 December 2011 in response to its consultation with local people and organisations:

  • Under the Commission’s draft recommendations, the parish of Colnbrook with Poyle was included in a three-member Colnbrook and Langley East ward. The responses to the consultation which opposed the draft recommendations focused mainly on the M4 as a major barrier within the proposed ward which meant that access routes across the ward would be poor.
  • The Commission carefully considered the evidence presented to it for this area and has decided to alter its draft recommendations. The Commission now recommends a two-member Colnbrook with Poyle ward to the south of the M4 with a single-member Foxborough ward to the north. As a result of this change, the Commission also proposes consequential alterations to the warding pattern in this part of Slough.
  • The Commission also received submissions relating to its proposals in the north west of Central ward. In particular, it was argued that Stoke Road provided a more identifiable eastern boundary for Elliman ward. The Commission agrees that such a boundary would be in line with the Commission’s obligation to reflect community identities and interests.
  • In other parts of Slough, the Commission considered proposed changes to the draft recommendations but was not able to recommend them as part of its final proposals. For example, the Commission has decided not to modify its recommendation for Britwell & Northborough ward.

3. Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk .

4. The electoral review of Slough Borough 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.