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Elections delayed by ward changes

Admin error over boundary review halts all-out borough poll

Charlotte Booth

Charlotte Booth

charlotte.booth@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886637

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PROPOSED boundary changes to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, scheduled for next year, are being delayed until 2020 after an administrative error by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

The number of councillors is set to reduce from 60 to 54 after redrawing the ward boundaries as part of the commission’s electoral review of the borough.

This would have meant all-out council elections in May 2019.

As part of this review, residents were invited to offer their views on what the new ward boundaries should look like through a series of public consultations.

The commission has now announced: “Shortly before the scheduled publication of its final recommendations, the commission became aware that, due to an administrative error, two submissions made during public consultation had not been made available to it during its consideration of final proposals.

“Given the importance of considering every local voice fairly and equally, the commission has decided to take a fresh look at every submission made during public consultation on the review.

“After taking into account all the submissions, the commission will decide the final recommendations.”

The publication of final recommendations for the electoral arrangements for Basingstoke and Deane will be delayed until March 5, 2019, with the new ward boundaries now set to come into effect at all-out elections in May 2020.

Chief executive and returning officer for elections at the borough council Mel Barrett said: “As a result of the announcement by the commission, the borough will not be holding an all-out election in May 2019 and will revert to the scheduled cycle of elections for one third of the council next year.

“We prepared for new wards to come into effect in 2019.

“However, we have also been planning in parallel in case it was not possible for the Parliamentary order to be made in time to hold the all-out elections, so we are fully prepared for next May.”

In May 2019 ward elections will take place for Baughurst and Tadley North, Burghclere, Highclere and St Mary Bourne, Kingsclere, Pamber and Silchester, Tadley Central and Tadley South, with all-out elections now scheduled to take place in May 2020.

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