The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Stafford Borough Council.
Today’s publication follows a ten-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across the borough.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Stafford should be represented by 40 councillors in the future: 19 fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent seven single-member wards, 15 two-member wards and one three-member ward across the borough.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said,
“We are extremely grateful to people across Stafford who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.
“Across the borough, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements. As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities across Stafford.”
As a result of the evidence received during consultation, the Commission has made an amendment to its draft recommendations to ensure that Parkside Primary School will be part of the Holmcroft ward rather than Common ward as previously proposed. The Commission believes that this arrangement is a better reflection of community ties in this part of Stafford.
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 2015.