THE independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Suffolk Coastal District Council.
In a media statement, the LGBCE says today’s publication follows a ten-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 Suffolk Coastal should be represented by 42 councillors in the future, 13 fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 11 single-member wards, 14 two-member wards and one three-member ward across the district.
Professor Colin Mellors, Deputy Chair of the Commission, said: “We are extremely grateful to people across the district 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. As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities across the district.”
In its final recommendations, and in response to views submitted during consultation, the Commission proposes to alter some of the recommendations it previously put forward. For example, the Commission now recommends splitting the three-member ward it had proposed in the south west of the district into a two-member Tower ward alongside a single-member Fynn Valley ward. Fynn Valley will include the parishes of Playford, Swilland, Tuddenham St Martin, Westerfield and Witnesham as well as part of the parish of Rushmere St Andrew. The Commission believes that this configuration represents a better reflection of community interests and identities in that part of the district.
In addition, and in response to local feedback, the Commission now proposes that the parish of Bredfield should be included in the Grundisburgh ward rather than the Melton ward as previously proposed. Similarly, the Commission also proposes that the parish of Letheringham should be part of the Hacheston ward rather than the Melton ward. In both cases, the Commission believes that the arrangement better reflects local community identities.
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 coming months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the council elections in 2015.
- 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.
- Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/suffolk/suffolk-coastal-fer or at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/1382/la=175