West Northamptonshire Council will be putting forward a suggested pattern of ward boundaries for the council area following its meeting last night (Thursday, 3 November).
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is currently carrying out a ward boundary review ahead of the authority’s next elections in 2025.
The last electoral review in Northamptonshire took place in 2011 and WNC’s current electoral arrangements are based on the divisions of the former county council. There are 93 councillors serving across 31 wards.
LGBCE carries out the review in two stages, the first stage determines the electorate for 2028 which is 325,511 and the number of councillors required to serve the population which the LGBCE have suggested should be 77. These figures provide an average number of electors per councillor.
During the second stage the Commission consult on the pattern of wards and also the number and names of wards.
The Council sent out a survey to all members and set up a working group to help prepare their suggested proposals as part of the consultation.
At its meeting this week the Councillors decided to submit a 77 proposal as suggested by the Commission, but also agreed a preferred proposal of 78 members which enabled a greater balance of representation between rural and urban areas in West Northamptonshire.
Councillor Suresh Patel, Chairman of the Council’s Democracy Standards Committee and the Local Boundary Review Working Group said:
“The opportunity to influence the pattern of our democracy does not come around often, but it is important when it does that the people who understand the area take part in the consultation and submit views about how the area should be represented.
The criteria require a balance between ensuring that there is an equal level of electors per councillor, and the need to ensure that the ward pattern reflects local communities.
The pattern of wards that we have proposed is supported by evidence assembled from across the Council about the communities in the area and the way in which they can be most effectively represented from the next local election in May 2025.
The LGBCE consultation runs until 7 November and people can submit their views West Northamptonshire | LGBCE Site
The review is expected to end in July 2023, when the LGBCE will make firm recommendations to Parliament through an Order which will give effect to the new electoral arrangements.