Agenda item

Local Government Boundary Commission Electoral Review - Council Warding Pattern Submission (Agenda Item 11)

Report of the Boundary Review Working Group.


The detailed maps of the proposed warding arrangements will be published as a supplement to the agenda and will be available to view on the website.  No paper copies will be printed due to their size. 


A paper copy of the maps will be available for Members to inspect in the St George’s Room, Elizabeth House from Wednesday 28 August 2013.


The Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services presented the report which was the second phase in the boundary review process.  He advised Members that the report represented the Council’s proposals and the Commission would accept proposals from individuals, groups, Parish Councils, etc and would give equal weight to all.


Once the Boundary Commission had looked at the submissions they would present their draft proposals in January 2014 for consultation.  Following that they would consider any suggestions for alterations and present their final proposals for warding patterns in July 2014.


Councillor Goreham had attended the Working Group meeting when Dereham was discussed.  They had considered some well worked proposals put forward by the Officers which used the Mid-Norfolk Railway Line and the A47 as boundaries.  He was surprised that those proposals had been discarded when they had been agreed by everyone present at that meeting.


Councillor Mrs L Monument noted that an alternative proposal had been put forward at that meeting and had been accepted by Officers as a better proposal.


Councillor Lamb was equally surprised that the original proposals for Thetford had been changed.  He felt that as most of the Croxton population was close to Thetford it would be better for them to be represented by a Thetford Councillor.


It was clarified that a series of meetings had taken place and representations from various Ward Representatives had been taken into account.  Everyone had had the opportunity to attend the meetings and the Working Group had listened to all representations received.  The Officers’ proposals had been the template to provide a starting point, but the decision had been made by the Members.


It was stressed that if individuals wished they could submit their own proposals to the Boundary Commission.  Members were encouraged to visit the Commission’s website to look at the different proposals that had been submitted and which would be taken into consideration by the Boundary Commission.


Councillor Childerhouse advised that there would be a public meeting held in Croxton on Wednesday 11 September to discuss the submission of a proposal which would exclude Croxton from Thetford.


The Leader of the Labour Group said that he had had the pleasure of sitting on the Working Group and had been privy to the process and challenges faced due to the constraints set by the Boundary Commission.  He had great respect for the officers involved in the process.  Anyone could submit a proposal and the Labour Group intended to do that and so they would not be voting on the recommendation.


Councillor Armes was also concerned about the 5000 houses being built which would be looking to Thetford for services and should be included in their boundary.


The Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services advised that the review would have no effect on parish boundaries.


RESOLVED that the submission on the proposed warding arrangements attached to the report be approved for submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.


There were five votes against the proposal and three abstentions. It was noted that two Members were out of the room when the vote was taken.


Supporting documents: