The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.
Today’s publication follows a ten-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Tonbridge & Malling.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Tonbridge & Malling should be represented by 54 councillors in the future, one more than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent seven three-member wards, 16 two-member wards and one single-member wards across the borough.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to the people of Tonbridge & Malling 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 interests of communities across Tonbridge & Malling.
“In response to the views submitted to us during the consultation, we are proposing some changes to the recommendations we put forward earlier this year. For example, we propose to alter our initial proposals for the parish of Ryarsh which had been divided between two wards in our draft recommendations. We have made a significant alteration to the proposed boundary so that most of the parish will now be included in a single ward.
“We were also persuaded that the area of Wateringbury should be part of a single-member ward rather than joined with neighbouring areas and parishes as previously put forward in our draft recommendations.
“Elsewhere, we are proposing some minor modifications to boundaries that were suggested to us by local people and organisations. We propose, for example, that the Portman Park area should be part of Castle ward and that the parish of Ditton should not be divided between two borough wards.
“Similarly, we agree with the view expressed to us that the community of Robson Drive shares a community identity with Aylesford South ward. We have therefore changed our recommendations to reflect that view.
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.Ends
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email:firstname.lastname@example.orgNotes 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. Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/kent/tonbridge-and-malling-electoral-fer or at http://consultation.lgbce.org.uk
3. The electoral review of Tonbridge & Malling 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.