The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Lincolnshire County Council.
The publication today (Tuesday, August 16) follows two phases of public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each county electoral division across Lincolnshire.
The commission’s final recommendations propose that Lincolnshire should be represented by 70 county councillors in the future: seven fewer than the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent 70 single-member electoral divisions across the county.
Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Lincolnshire 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 county, 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 in Lincolnshire.”
In response to representations made to it during consultation, the commission has made changes to the draft proposals it originally put forward for consultation in December 2015. For example, in North Kesteven, the commission’s original draft recommendations proposed that the parish of Brauncewell and Byard’s Leap should be divided between two electoral divisions. Following local representations, the commission has amended its proposals so that the whole parish will be part of a Ruskington division.
In South Holland, the commission received objections to its proposal to include part of the town of Spalding in a Crowland division. The commission have now considered local views and have amended the boundaries so that the Crowland division is entirely rural in character and better reflects community interests and identities.
In West Lindsey, the commission’s original proposals divided the parish of Welton between divisions. Following representations from local people and organisations, the commission has amended its recommendations so that the parish will be wholly contained in a Welton Rural division.
In South Kesteven, the commission received local comments on its proposal to divide Market Deeping between two divisions. The Commission has listened to the views expressed and now proposes a different boundary across the town. The Commission has also amended its proposals in South Kesteven so that the parishes of Thurlby and Toft cum Lound and Manthorpe are both part of a Bourne South and Thurlby division.
For East Lindsey, the commission’s proposals – published in December 2015 – divided the parishes of Mareham le Fen and Revesby between electoral divisions. In response to local representations, the Commission has decided to amend the boundaries to ensure that both parishes, in their entirety, are part of the Horncastle and Keals division.
Elsewhere in the county, the commission has made minor changes to its recommendations in response to local feedback. For example, the Commission proposes to change the names of four divisions it put forward in December in light of suggestions put to it during the public consultation.
Full details of the final recommendations are available on the commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk
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 county council elections in 2017.