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Final recommendations for the Vale of White Horse electoral arrangements

22nd March 2013

Final recommendations for the Vale of White Horse electoral arrangements

25th March 2013

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Vale of White Horse District Council.

Today’s publication follows an eight-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across the district.

The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Vale of White Horse should be represented by 38 councillors in the future, thirteen fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent fourteen two-member wards and ten single-member wards across the district.

Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to the people of Vale of White Horse 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 district, 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. We believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities across Vale of White Horse.”

In response to the views submitted to it during the consultation, the Commission proposes some changes to the draft recommendations it published in November. For example, the Commission was persuaded that the parishes of Watchfield and Shrivenham share community ties but had been split into different wards in the draft proposals. The final recommendations propose that the parishes should be included in a two-member ward alongside a two-member Faringdon ward containing the whole of that parish.

In the east of the district, the Commission agreed with representations that there should be two single-member Sutton Courtney and Drayton wards rather than combining the two areas as had been proposed previously.

The Commission also received strong evidence to suggest that the whole of the parish of North Hinksey should be included in the same ward. It has therefore altered its draft recommendations in the north east of the district to reflect that change.

Elsewhere, the Commission has made minor boundary amendments to its draft proposals in response to feedback from local people and organisations as well as putting forward different names for some wards in the Abingdon area.

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 district council elections in 2015.

Please note that the Commission is also carrying out an electoral review of neighbouring South Oxfordshire District Council and has considered each authority separately throughout the process.

Ends

For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email:press@lgbce.org.uk

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/south-east/oxfordshire/vale-of-white-horse-fer or at consultation.lgbce.org.uk

3. The electoral review of Vale of White Horse District 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.