The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Herefordshire Council.
Today’s publication follows an eight-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Herefordshire.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Herefordshire should be represented by 53 councillors in the future, five fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 53 single-member wards across the district.
The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 allows local authorities to request the Commission to carry out an electoral review with the aim of providing single-member wards across the whole authority. On two occasions during the review, the council resolved to ask the Commission to carry out the review with a view to delivering single-member wards across Herefordshire hence the pattern put forward by the Commission in its recommendations.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to the people of Herefordshire 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 Herefordshire, 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 identities of communities across Herefordshire.”
In response to the views submitted to it during the consultation, the Commission proposes some changes to the recommendations they put forward last November. For example, it proposes to alter the draft proposals so that the parish of Richards Castle is included in Kingsland ward rather than Mortimer ward.
Across Herefordshire, the Commission proposes to change the names of many of the wards it put forward as part of the draft recommendations to reflect the feedback received during public consultation.
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 council elections in 2015.
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: email@example.com
Notes to editors:
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England 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/west-midlands/herefordshire/herefordshire-fer or at consultation.lgbce.org.uk
3. The electoral review of Herefordshire Council is a separate undertaking from the review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which was carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.