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Final plans for new electoral arrangements in Merseyside are being submitted to The Electoral Commission today. The recommendations from The Boundary Committee for England mark the end of a review which began in December 2001. They include changes to ward boundaries across the area.
Pamela Gordon, Committee Chairman said: 'During autumn 2002 a successful public consultation on draft recommendations was carried out. The responses have lead to us changing some of the proposals. The aim of the review has been to ensure that, as far as possible, one person's vote should have the same value as another's. The improvements in electoral equality we are recommending today meet that objective without disrupting community interests.'
The Electoral Commission is now responsible for deciding the outcome of the Committee's recommendations and all further correspondence should be addressed to The Secretary, The Electoral Commission, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
Knowsley - Given the broad support for the draft recommendations, the Committee proposes substantially confirming them as final. With regard to Knowsley and Whiston parishes the Committee proposes renaming the parish wards according to the parish and town councils' suggestions. The final recommendations are for a reduction in council size from 66 to 63, representing 21 wards reduced from 22.
Wirral - The Committee substantially endorses the draft recommendations as final subject to minor boundary amendments and four ward name changes. The Committee proposes that the existing council size of 66 should be retained, representing 22 wards as at present.
St Helens - The Committee is substantially confirming its final recommendations for St Helens subject to some amendments. As a result of receiving strong arguments and evidence from local people the Committee proposes retaining the existing Rainhill borough ward as this best reflects community identities in the area. The Committee's final recommendations are for a reduction in council size from 54 to 48, representing 16 wards, a reduction of two.
Liverpool - The Committee proposes substantially endorsing the draft proposals as final subject to a few minor boundary amendments and 3 ward name changes. The final recommendations are for a reduction in council size from 99 to 90, representing 30 wards, reduced from 33.
Sefton - The Committee proposes substantially endorsing the draft proposals as final subject to a boundary amendment. The Committee proposes that Sefton Parish be wholly contained within the proposed Park ward. The Committee proposes that the number of councillors should be retained representing 22 wards.
The Committee's reports are available on its website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or at Council offices and at public libraries. Copies of the reports can also be obtained by writing to The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
Elise Cross on 020 7271 0530 or Gemma Crosland on 020 7271 0527
Out of Office hours 07789 920 414, Fax: 020 7271 0528
Notes to editors:
1. PDFs of maps are available on The Boundary Committee's website www.boundarycommittee.org.uk For copyright permission, contact Ordnance Survey's helpline on 023 8030 5092.
2. The present review of Merseyside began on 4 December 2001. Draft recommendations were published on 3 September 2002 and are also available on the Committee's web site at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk
3. The Boundary Committee is a statutory committee of The Electoral Commission.