The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is recommending that Franklin Close, Colney Heath should be united in St Albans.
At present, part of Franklin Close is in Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and part is in St Albans City & District Council. The boundary currently cuts through houses and gardens and divides the community.
Following a six-week public consultation, residents and local groups unanimously backed the Commission’s draft recommendation to make the boundary change which would see nine homes and a total of 18 voters switch from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council to St Albans.
Chair of the Commission, Max Caller said, “We’re proposing a common sense solution for the residents of Franklin Close and the local authorities that currently serve them. During our six week consultation, local people told us they agreed with our proposal to unite Franklin Close in St Albans and that’s what we’re now recommending to Government.
“A boundary that cuts through residents’ homes and gardens causes confusion and doesn’t promote effective local government. I hope the small change we are proposing makes a big difference to local people and the services they receive.”
The Commission has written today (20 September) to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will take the final decision on the proposal. He will then decide whether the proposal should be implemented and, if so, when. Before taking a decision, there is a four week period (up to 18 October 2011) for anyone to make representations directly to the Secretary of State.
Representations should be sent to:
Franklin Close Principal Area Boundary ReviewSecretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eland House Bressenden Place London, SW1E 5DU
Or by email to: LocalGovernmentBoundaries@communities.gsi.gov.uk
To view the Commission’s recommendation for Franklin Close, the full report and map can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, eg defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, and for conducting reviews of local authority external boundaries and structure.
2. The LGBCE has carried out a principal area boundary review (PABR) of the boundary between Welwyn Hatfield Borough and St Albans City and District Councils. A PABR is a review of the external boundaries of two or more local authorities to promote convenient and effective local government. Reviews of this kind range from addressing minor boundary anomalies that hinder effective service delivery to whole-council mergers.
3. Further guidance on PABRs is available on the Commission’s website - PABR technical guidance (PDF)
4. The Commission is recommending that the boundary between Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and St Albans City and District Council should be moved so that numbers 2-18 Franklin Close (even numbers only) move from Welwyn Hatfield into St Albans. The Commission’s proposal also means that some gardens in Roestock Gardens and Franklin Close will also become part of St Albans. The houses at 9-13 Roestock Gardens and 20,22 and 24 are already located in St Albans.
5. The Commission was approached in December 2010 by local MP, Grant Shapps, who pointed out the apparent boundary anomaly. Subsequently the Commission received a formal request from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and St Albans City and District to conduct a review.
6. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will take the final decision on whether any changes should be implemented and, if so, when.