The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
This week’s publication follows public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Basingstoke and Deane. The boundaries of all but two of Basingstoke and Deane’s current wards will change as a result of the review.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Basingstoke and Deane should be represented by 54 borough councillors in the future: six fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent eighteen three-councillor wards across the borough.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Basingstoke and Deane who took part in the review. The Commission has looked at all the evidence that was put forward during the consultation. We believe these recommendations deliver electoral fairness for voters as well as reflecting community ties throughout Basingstoke and Deane.”
In response to local feedback during consultation, the Commission has made changes to some of the wards it put forward for consultation last year. For example, it has made minor changes to its proposed Eastrop & Grove ward and Brookvale & Kings Furlong ward so that the boundaries of both wards are more identifiable and communities are not divided.
In the north of the borough, the Commission has agreed to include the area around Priestley Road in the Sherborne St John & Rooksdown ward rather than Popley as previously proposed. The Commission believes the new arrangement is a better reflection of community ties.
In addition, the Commission has changed the names of four of its proposed wards as a result of evidence submitted by local people and groups.
The changes are: Kingsclere & Baughurst to Tadley North, Kingsclere & Baughurst; Kempshott to Kempshott & Buckskin; Overton & Whitchurch to Whitchurch, Overton & Laverstoke; Tadley to Tadley & Pamber and Western Parishes to become Evingar.
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 2020.
Full details of the final recommendations are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.