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Residents in Wiltshire are being asked for their views on new local electoral arrangements. The Boundary Committee today publishes its draft recommendations for proposed changes, based on locally generated schemes, to provide a better electoral balance. Most of the division boundaries in Wiltshire are likely to change.
The public consultation period begins today and runs until 21 July 2003. The Committee will take into account all representations received by this date when it produces its final recommendations to submit to The Electoral Commission. The Committee may change some or all of the proposals, depending on the responses it receives during the consultation period. It is therefore important that members of the public let the Committee have their views, whether or not they agree with the draft recommendations.
Commenting on the proposals, the Committee's Chairman, Pamela Gordon, says: 'At present, the electoral arrangements across Wiltshire are significantly unbalanced. For example, the worst imbalance is in Melksham Without in West Wiltshire District, where the councillor represents 41% more electors than the county average, while the councillor for Trowbridge East represents 43% fewer electors than the county average.'
'The aim of our review is to ensure that, as far as possible within each county, each person's vote should have the same value as another's, without disrupting community identities. We are consulting until 21 July 2003 and I hope that all those affected by our proposals will tell us what they think about them.'
The Committee recommends that there should be an increase in council size from 47 to 49 councillors. In North Wiltshire, West Wiltshire and Salisbury the Committee is putting forward a combination of its own proposals and locally generated proposals. In Kennet the Committee is basing its proposals entirely on a local scheme. The Committee is proposing three two-member divisions in North Wiltshire, two two-member divisions in Salisbury and one two-member division in West Wiltshire.
Copies of the report are available from the Committee's website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or by writing to the Committee, and will be available for reference at council offices and in public libraries.
Anyone wishing to make representations to the Committee on its draft recommendations should do so in writing no later than 21 July 2003 to: Team Leader (Wiltshire), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW. All representations will be available for inspection, by appointment, at the Committee's offices and copies will be available at the offices of the relevant local authority. A list of respondents is also available on request from the Committee.
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 Wiltshire began on 9 July 2002
3. The Boundary Committee is a statutory committee of The Electoral Commission.