Cornwall Council has today formally submitted its final submission for an overall council size of 99 Councillors to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
The figure, which was resoundingly supported by Members at the meeting of the full Council on 21 February, is based on a wide range of evidence, including electoral forecasts, the geography and size of Cornwall, the Council’s decision-making and scrutiny arrangements, the findings of the Governance Review on the future shape of the Council, and the role and workload of Cornwall Councillors, together with evidence presented by town and parish councils and partner organisations
John Wood, Chair of the Electoral Review Panel, said “The figure takes into account the impact of proposed changes to the organisation and governance of a future Council, including a reduction in the number and size of committees; the views of town and parish councils and consideration of the numbers of Members required to support community networks in the future.
The LGBCE will now consider the Council’s submission and evidence alongside other submissions it will have received before announcing its decision on the size of the Council on 16 May, shortly after the unitary Council elections.
This is the first review of electoral divisions to take place in Cornwall since the creation of the unitary Council in 2009 and the main aim is to ensure that all Councillors represent, as far as practically possible, a similar number of voters.
As well as deciding total number of councillors, the review will also consider the number, names and boundaries of the electoral divisions. Although it is likely the overwhelming majority of electoral divisions will be represented by one member, the LGBCE can decide that a larger electoral division represented by more than one Member is the best way of achieving electoral equality.
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Work on drawing up draft recommendations on the new electoral divisions will formally begin in May 2017, following the Commission’s announcement of their decision on the size of the Council, with further consultation taking place with Members, town and parish councils, partners, key stakeholders and the public between October and December 2017.
The responses from this consultation and engagement will then be analysed by the LGBCE before it publishes its final recommendations on 27 March 2018.
The Order implementing the final electoral arrangements will then be laid before Parliament in April 2018, with the changes coming into effect for the 2021 elections.