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Final plans for new electoral arrangements in West Yorkshire 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 May 2002. They include changes to ward boundaries across the area.
Pamela Gordon, Committee Chairman said: 'During spring 2003 a successful public consultation on draft recommendations was carried out. The responses have led 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.
Calderdale - The Committee proposes substantially endorsing the draft recommendations as final, subject to some minor boundary modifications. The Committee proposes boundary amendments in the Sowerby Bridge area along with a number of ward name changes in the light of comments from local people. The final recommendations are for a council size of 51 reduced from 54, representing 17 wards.
Kirklees - The Committee proposes adopting the draft recommendations as final subject to a number of boundary modifications. The Committee proposes to retain the Castle Hill area of Newsome ward in Almondbury ward, and to change the name of Oakwell ward to Birstall & Birkenshaw ward in order to better reflect constituent communities. In addition a number of minor amendments are proposed. Given the broad support received in support of the draft recommendation to reunite Mirfield in one ward, we have confirmed this as part of our final recommendations. The final recommendations are for a council size of 69 reduced from 72, representing 23 wards reduced from 24.
Bradford - The Committee is substantially confirming its draft recommendations for Bradford as final, subject to some boundary modifications. The Committee proposes that the existing Ilkley ward should be retained, and that Addingham parish should remain in the proposed Craven ward. Denholme parish should remain in Bingley Rural ward, and the Sandy Lane area should be transferred from Heaton ward to the proposed Thornton ward. The area to the south of the railway in Bingley town should remain in Bingley ward, and the hamlet of New Brighton should remain in Bingley Rural ward. In addition, a number of other minor amendments are proposed. The Committee proposes that the number of councillors should remain the same at 90 representing 30 wards.
Leeds -The Committee proposes adopting the draft recommendations as final subject to a number of boundary modifications. The Committee proposes that a revised Bramham and Harewood ward be renamed Harewood ward in order to better reflect community identities. The Committee also proposes new Beeston & Holbeck and City & Hunslet wards. In addition a number of other minor boundary amendments and name changes are proposed. The final recommendations are for a council size of 99 representing 33 wards.
Wakefield - With regard to the city of Wakefield, the Committee proposes further amendments to the wards of Wakefield East, Wakefield North, Wakefield South and Wakefield West, to obtain a better reflection of community identities. The Committee proposes to revert to the existing boundary between Horbury and Ossett wards in Ossett town, and to re-name Horbury ward 'Horbury and South Ossett' due to the level of local support for this change. The Committee substantially endorses the draft recommendations as final subject to a few further minor boundary amendments. The Committee concludes that 63 councillors should be retained representing 21 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 West Yorkshire began on 8 May 2002. Draft recommendations were published on 11 February 2003 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.