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Public consultation on West Berkshire ward boundaries opens

Boundary commission asks for public input into council shake-up

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

Contact:

01635 886639

west berkshire council AS

WEST Berkshire residents are being asked to help draw up a new pattern of council wards in the district.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has today launched a public consultation on the matter following West Berkshire Council’s decision late last year to reduce the number of councillors.

The council is currently made up of 52 councillors representing 30 wards, 48 of whom are Conservatives and four Liberal Democrats.

However, in November it was decided that the final number should be 42, a move which is expected to save the council around £70,000 a year.

The boundary commission now needs information from people and groups across West Berkshire to help it to produce a new pattern of wards to accommodate the recommended 42 councillors.

Chair of the Commission, Professor Colin Mellors, said: “We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for West Berkshire. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.

“If you have a view about which communities or neighbourhoods should be part of the same council ward, then we want to hear from you.

“And if you think a road, river or railway makes for a strong boundary between communities in your part of West Berkshire, then this consultation is for you.

“Alternatively, if you’re simply interested in the way the council is run, just log on to our website to explore our interactive maps and have your say.

“Your views will make a difference.”

The new number of councillors and wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2019 council elections.

Residents have until April 3 to have their say about where ward boundaries for West Berkshire’s 42 councillors should be drawn.  

The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in June 2017 and open a further phase of consultation with local people.

 To have your say visit consultation.lgbce.org.uk

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