Warding map submitted to boundary commission
Published: Wednesday, 13th December 2017
A new map setting out the Royal Borough’s recommendations on how to shape local democracy has been approved by council.
The map, showing a new network of electoral ward boundaries, was drawn up by a cross-party working group and will now be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
The commission will collate all responses to their public consultation and use them to create a new draft warding pattern for the borough in February 2018. This new pattern will be subject to another round of public consultation.
Cllr Ross McWilliams principal member for housing and communications chaired the working group.
He said: “We believe this map sets out the best way to retain electoral equality in the borough over the coming years and ensure every resident’s voice is heard equally.
”Our warding pattern keeps communities together while ensuring the number of residents each councillor represents is brought back into line.
“This was not an easy job and I’d like to thank everyone who gave up their time to make our submission the best it could be.
“I hope the hard work we put in will be reflected in the commission’s map next year.”
Full Council voted to approve the maps submission with 29 votes for, five against and six abstentions at a meeting on Tuesday, 12 December.
If this electoral review was not carried out some ward councillors would represent 30 percent more residents than the average borough councillor by 2023, triggering an automatic review.
The review will balance the number of residents each councillor represents and improve efficiency at the council.
Every councillor was given the chance to meet with officers to help them understand community identities and issues across the borough.
In the Royal Borough’s submission ward names have been preserved wherever possible or used to create names for new wards reflecting existing communities.
The commission was invited to carry out a review of the borough’s wards and has announced it is minded to recommend that the number of councillors be reduced from 57 to 43.
The new electoral arrangements will be in place for the 2019 local elections.
At present the Royal Borough consists of 23 wards; 13 three-member, eight two-member and two one-member wards. The council’s submission sets out a map of 19 wards comprising 14 two-member and five three-member wards.