Final recommendations published on future of Wiltshire's divisional boundaries
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations into the future of Wiltshire's divisional boundaries.
Wiltshire Council's Electoral Review Committee originally submitted its vision for the county's electoral divisions in November 2018 for the commission to consider.
The commission considered reducing the total number of councillors for Wiltshire but have decided that the size and nature of the county and the way in which the council operates, particularly in the context of the Area Boards, meant that the current total of 98 should be maintained. They have also decided to maintain the pattern of every electoral division being represented by just one councillor, having heard opposition to the idea of larger divisions.
The commission also states that the boundaries of most divisions will change as there are some areas where, because a councillor represents many more people than in other areas, and therefore a person's vote can carry less weight.
Almost 2,000 people wrote to the commission to tell them their thoughts on the proposals.
The commission has made no changes to the extent of any town or parish, but in some areas they have had to make new provisions for the internal boundaries of town or parish council
Cllr Richard Clewer, Chairman of Wiltshire Council's Electoral Review Committee, said: "I thank the Local Government Boundary Commission for their work and respect their findings.
"Our aim throughout this process has been to ensure the final outcome provides electoral equality, community cohesion and effective and convenient local government. We will take a detailed look at all the findings and although it's clear they took on board many of our ideas, there are still some things we do not agree on.
"However, we will strive to make these changes work and ensure our councillors and Area Boards have the very best foundation to promote local democracy in Wiltshire so that it continues to be strong, fair and valued for the long-term.
"I'd again like to thank everyone involved in our Electoral Review Committee it's been a huge undertaking but their hard work and commitment on a cross party basis in what has been a long complex process has been outstanding.
"Finally, I would also like to thank our town and parish councils and members of the public who provided the committee with their views which were invaluable in developing our proposals"
The final recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission can be found online.
Subject to parliamentary approval, the new division boundaries will take effect from the next local unitary election in May 2021.
Our aim throughout this process has been to ensure the final outcome provides electoral equality, community cohesion and effective and convenient local government