Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 WC numbers update.

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Wiltshire could retain its current number of councillors.

The body which reviews how many councillors each local authority elects is ready to recommend that Wiltshire Council should retain its current number of unitary councillors of 98.

Following consideration of Wiltshire Council’s submission and evidence received, The Local Government Boundary Commission for England reports that it is ‘minded to’ propose that Wiltshire should return 98 councillors at the next election in 2021.

Wiltshire Council made a case to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England that the 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 chairman of Wiltshire Council’s Electoral Review Committee, said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in getting us to this stage as this is a very detailed project initially looking at how the council should be governed in to the future.

“Quite clearly the Local Government Boundary Commission for England has understood the unique approach that the council takes to engage with its communities and partners and the benefits it brings to our decision-making by proposing the same number of councillors that we currently have.

“However people should be aware than even if our number stays the same there will still be some significant changes in their local electoral divisions and to recognise the planned growth in population both now and in to the future. Therefore I encourage people to get involved in the consultation on where boundaries need changing in order to achieve fair representation on the council.”

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England’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 Local Government Boundary Commission for England 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 Local Government Boundary Commission 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 Local Government Boundary Commission for England 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 Local Government Boundary Commission for England 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.