The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Swale Borough Council.
Today’s publication follows a ten week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each ward across Swale.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Swale’s 47 councillors should represent four three-member wards, fifteen two-member wards and five single-member wards across the borough.
The Commission’s final report makes some changes to its draft proposals as a result of the feedback gathered from local people and organisations.
Professor Colin Mellors, Deputy Chair of the Commission, said, “We’re extremely grateful to the people of Swale 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 April.
“For example, in response to the feedback we received during consultation, we have decided to re-name some of the wards we initially proposed in April so that they better reflect community identities in the borough. We are persuaded that West Downs is a more appropriate name for the ward we had originally called Rural Sittingbourne and that Woodstock better reflects the ward we are proposing for the south Sittingbourne area.
“We are also proposing a small boundary change between our proposed St Ann’s ward and Priory ward in the Faversham area so that the new boundary delivers good transport links for each ward.
“Across Swale, 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 borough 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 borough council elections in 2015.
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 (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. Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/kent/swale-electoral-review
3. The electoral review of Swale 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.