Test valley residents: Have your say on new ward boundaries
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across Test Valley to comment on its draft proposals for new council ward boundaries.
A nine-week public consultation on the recommendations began on 13 June and will end on 14 August 2017. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Test Valley.
The Boundary Commission previously accepted Test Valley’s council size submission to reduce the number of councillors at the next election to 43 down from 48 – and are now consulting on their proposals for ward boundaries. The recommendations outline that the 43 councillors should represent eight three-councillor wards, seven two-councillor wards and five one-councillor wards across the borough.
Leader of the Council (and former Chair of the Electoral Review Members Group), Councillor Phil North, said:
“Right from the beginning we were clear that we wanted to see a reduction in the amount of Councillors and I’m delighted that the Boundary Commission have endorsed our proposals. Their report also praised the borough council’s submission, upon which they have largely based their recommendations.”
Corporate Portfolio Holder Maureen Flood said: “The public now have the opportunity to have their say to ensure that the Boundary Commissions proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Test Valley. I therefore urge residents to take this opportunity and have their say about where the ward boundaries should be drawn and what improvements, if any, could be made.”
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Test Valley and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.
“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole borough or just part of it.”
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations for Test Valley. If you would like to make a submission, please write or email the Commission by 14 August 2017:
The Review Officer (Test Valley)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th floor, Millbank Tower
Follow us on Twitter @LGBCE
Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal:
Link to the dedicated web page for the Test Valley electoral review:
For further information contact:
Press Office: 0330 500 1250 / 1525
- The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, as well as conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structures.
- The Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Test Valley Borough Council to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. The borough currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer, voters than other members of the council.
- The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
- Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?
- How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?
- Are the names of the proposed wards right?
- The electoral review of Test Valley Borough Council is a separate undertaking from the review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which is being carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.
- Residents have from 13 June until 14 August 2017 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Test Valley should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in October 2017. Once the Commission agrees its final recommendations it will lay a draft order in both Houses of Parliament. Parliament will then have 40 days in which to consider the recommendations. If both Houses are satisfied with the recommendations, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the council elections in May 2019.