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Final plans for new electoral arrangements in Dorset are being submitted to The Electoral Commission today. The recommendations from The Boundary Committee for England mark the end of a year-long review. They include changes to ward boundaries across the district.
Pamela Gordon, Committee Chair said: 'The review of Dorset began in March 2001. During Autumn 2001 a successful public consultation on the draft recommendations was carried out and the responses received 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.
Christchurch - the Committee is substantially confirming the draft recommendations as final, subject to six ward name changes. It proposes renaming Avon ward as Portfield ward, Burton ward as Burton and Winkton ward, Fairmile ward as Jumpers ward and Somerford ward as Grange ward, St Catherine's as St Catherine's and Hurn Ward and West Highcliffe and Hoburne ward as West Highcliffe ward. It also proposes minor amendments to the boundaries between Mudeford and Friars Cliff and West Highcliffe and Hoburne wards, and between Purewell and Stanpit and Somerford wards. The Committee's proposals are for 24 councillors for Christchurch (reduced from 25) representing 11 wards (increased from 10).
East Dorset - the Committee is substantially confirming the draft recommendations as final, subject to some amendments. It is renaming Verwood Castle ward Verwood Stephen's Castle and is also proposing minor boundary amendments in the Corfe Mullen and Verwood areas, as proposed by the District Council. The Committee is adopting the Council's warding arrangements for Colehill and Wimborne Minster in their entirety. The Committee's proposals are for 36 councillors for East Dorset (no change) representing 24 wards (increased from 23).
North Dorset - the Committee is substantially confirming the draft recommendations as final in the north of the district. In Blandford Forum Town, it recommends five single-member wards. Following a further limited consultation in the south of the district the Committee is modifying the boundaries of Abbey, Bulbarrow, Cranborne Chase, Hill Forts, Lydden Vale, Portman and Stour Valley wards, to secure more identifiable ward boundaries and reflect community identity. The Committee's proposals are for 33 councillors for North Dorset (no change) representing 28 wards (increased from 27).
West Dorset - the Committee is substantially confirming the draft recommendations as final, subject to some amendments. It is transferring Melbury Osmond parish from Yesminster ward to Halstock ward and Minterne Magna parish from Halstock ward into Charminster and Cerne Valley ward in order to better reflect community identity in the area. It is also transferring Bettiscombe parish into Thorncombe ward in order to better reflect the parish's links with Marshwood parish and secure a better level of electoral equality. It also proposes that Thorncombe ward be renamed Marshwood Vale ward in order to better reflect the mixture of communities within the ward. The Committee proposes renaming Holnest ward Cam Vale ward and Symondsbury ward Chideock and Symondsbury ward. The Committee's proposals are for 48 councillors for West Dorset (reduced from 55) representing 33 wards (reduced from 38).
Weymouth and Portland - the Committee is substantially confirming the draft recommendations as final, subject to some minor amendments. It is renaming Spa and Redlands ward, Wey Valley ward. It is amending the boundary between the Wey Valley and Westham North wards to broadly follow the existing boundary in this area. The Committee proposes a minor amendment to the boundary between Westham North and Westham West wards to provide for a more clearly identifiable boundary. The Committee's proposals are for 36 councillors for Weymouth and Portland (increased from 35) representing 15 wards (increased from 14).
The Committee's report is available at Council offices and at public libraries and can also be obtained by writing to The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
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