Wiltshire could retain its current number of councillors

The Wiltshire Council Parish Newsletter (link here) this week published an update to its June article on the Local Government Boundary Commission for England‘s electoral review of Wiltshire Council. The LGBCE reviews how many councillors each local authority elects, and is ready to recommend that Wiltshire Council should retain its current number of unitary councillors of 98.

As the June article says, ‘Wiltshire Council made a submission to the LGBCE arguing that the most appropriate council size moving forward was 99, an increase of 1 from the present position. In particular the fundamental role of community area boards was highlighted’. Following consideration of this submission and evidence received, the LGBCE reports that it is ‘minded to’ propose that Wiltshire should return 98 councillors at the next election in 2021.

Wiltshire Council made a case that it was essential to retain its area boards as executive committees with decision making powers and any reduction in councillors would have put the continuance of them at risk.

The LGBCE’s conclusions on the size and boundaries of council divisions will be open for public consultation from today (28 August) until 5 November 2018. Any parties interested in making a submission on division boundary patterns should submit this directly to the LGBCE using their consultation portal at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/14518

The Wiltshire Council Electoral Review Committee would also welcome any views from
organisations, communities or the public, as it prepares a submission on behalf of the council. Any representations to the council should be sent to committee@wiltshire.gov.uk.

Wiltshire Council’s original submission to the LGBCE and other relevant information related to the review can be found at
https://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/mgGeneric.aspx?MD=ElectoralReview&bcr=1

Next steps:
Beyond the consultation, the next steps are:

  • From 5 February 2019 to 15 April 2019 the LGBCE will consult upon its draft recommendations on new divisions, published after consideration of the submissions provided in the preceding stage.
  • In July 2019, the final recommendations of the LGBCE will be published. At this stage they will no longer be able to be amended – a draft order will be prepared for laying in Parliament, where the recommendations may be accepted or rejected, but not amended.
  • Should the recommendations be accepted, they will then be implemented for elections in May 2021.

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