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Agenda item

Electoral Review

An update on the Electoral Review the Local Government Boundary Commission is currently undertaking.



Cllr Richard Clewer, Chairman of the Electoral Review Committee


Under his role of Chairman of the Electoral Review Committee, Cllr Richard Clewer gave an update on the Review of the Local Government Boundary Commission. A written handout was circulated at the meeting and is attached to these minutes for information.


Electoral Reviews determine both the overall number of councillors on a council, and the pattern of divisions within that council. The current review would be the first review since Wiltshire Council was formed in 2009.


It was required because 25 Divisions had a variance from the average in the size of their electorate of more than 10%, and 2 Divisions had a variance from the average of over 30%.


The review’s outcome, if implemented, would apply from the next elections in May 2021. Parliament, not Wiltshire Council, would be responsible for the final decision, following a recommendation from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).


The councils Electoral Review Committee considered a great deal of evidence and recommended to Full Council that a council size of 99 Councillors be put forward, to enable us to keep the area boards working.


The implications of having fewer councillors could be quite significant for some of our areas.


We were told we would have a decision on 1st May, instead they have come back and said they are unsure and would like to talk further about the Area Board arrangements.


Once we have been informed of what the number of councillors in Wiltshire council from the next election will be, the LGBCE will hold a public consultation.


The consultation will seek proposals from the council, towns and parishes, other community or local groups, and members of the public, on how the determined number of divisions should be drawn up.

Cllr Clewer encouraged everyone to put submissions in and engage in the process.


The current electorate for the Southern Wiltshire Community Area was 18,209 with 5 electoral divisions. The average division size at present across the council area was 3752.


The projected draft electorate for the Southern Wiltshire Community Area in 2024 was 20,128.


Below are listed the draft figures for the projected electorates for the current pattern of division, and for parishes, in 2024. These may be subject to some change.



Laverstock, Ford and Old Sarum – 5181 (this does not include section of Laverstock Parish currently within Salisbury St Marks and Bishopdown Division)

Winterslow – 3325

Alderbury and Whiteparish – 3583

Redlynch and Landford – 3875

Downton and Ebble Valley – 4163



Alderbury – 1844

Britford – 300

Clarendon Park – 208

Coombe Bissett – 599

Downton – 2772

Firsdown – 508

Grimstead – 476

Landford – 1628

Laverstock – 7654 (including 2473 currently in Salisbury St Marks and Bishopdown, and Salisbury Area Board)

Odstock – 457

Pitton and Farley – 656

Redlynch– 2246

West Dean – 204

Whiteparish – 1265

Winterslow – 1748


It is these numbers that the LGBCE will use to create new divisions. They may use parts of parishes, and may decide not to utilise existing area board boundaries.


If we look at our current divisions, some will be too big. Laverstock will be far too big to be a single division at that point. Winterslow will be too small to be a division.


Some parishes are going to need to think about how to split things up, and some will have to look at applying for pieces of land to be transferred in. Parishes need to go and look at where they feel they want to be.


After the next stage the LGBCE will consult upon its draft recommendations on new divisions, published after considerations of the submissions that have been made. Area Boards will again be consulted at this stage, and the Electoral Review Committee will consider a response to the draft recommendations


Sometime in 2019 the final recommendations of the LGBCE will be published. They will be laid before Parliament, where the recommendations may be accepted, or rejected, but not amended.




·         Are you saying that depending on the overall number of Cllrs agreed, there may be some areas of Laverstock and Ford (L&F) that would need to go over to Salisbury? Answer: Yes, L&F would be too large to have as one division. They would need to think carefully about whether they want to sit with Salisbury or one of the underlying villages. Be clear about the future of L&F and strongly submit your views to the consultation.


·         Brian Edgeley, Firsdown – Looking at the stats for Winterslow, and the smaller villages like Firsdown what should we discuss. Answer: When you look at some of these areas, it may be better to start at the edges and work your way in. look at where they might be able to be expanded. If the numbers are reduced, we have to start looking at quite radical options. You need to make sure your parish views are expressed very firmly.


·         Cllr Randall – Had the idea of multi member wards had been excluded? Answer: We had stated we do not want any multi member wards. This was a firm view of the council and the committee.


·         With the possibility of the boundary of Salisbury City changing, is that true of other area boards? Answer: Yes it was possible, depending on the key number of councillors.


·         Cllr McLennan – We have just come through boundary adjustments to facilitate new boundaries for parishes. Some of the most significant ones were in Cllr Randalls patch and mine, in L&F which gained back the parish it once was, which meant taking some out of Salisbury. With Longhedge still being built, a judgement on how many electorate we will end up with from those properties when developed will need to be made. I would ask that the starting point is that you look to have 2 councillors from L&F, and disregard Salisbury. A critical point is that we have established parish boundaries at great cost. Answer: If we end up with 99 Councillors you may just get away with splitting L&F into two with two councillors.

The Chairman added that the pressure from the electoral review body would be a much bigger reduction on councillors than we have talked about here and the effect on the Area Board would be profound.


Get ready to jump into action once we hear the outcome of their deliberations.







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