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Agenda item

Electoral Review Update - Stage One Submission

The Committee is meeting on 2 October 2018 to consider a draft Stage One Submission.

 

This meeting has been arranged in the event further proposals require approval.

Minutes:

The Chairman updated the Committee on developments with the Electoral Review since the meeting held on 2 October 2018, at which the Committee had approved the draft division proposals with the exception of the divisions comprising Melksham Area Board, where further work was requested. The Committee had also noted that urban division lines were indicative and that further adjustments would follow in many areas.

 

In relation to Salisbury specific changes were outlined in the Bemerton Heath area, to retain as much of the older established part of the community as possible within a single division, and other adjustments were also detailed including retaining the church of St Paul’s within the area formerly covered by the St Paul’s division.

 

The Committee then discussed at length the draft division proposals which included the Bishopdown area, now wholly within Laverstock Parish, within a division assigned to the Southern Area Board. Members representing Salisbury divisions in attendance remained strongly of the view that the area was a clear urban extension of the city, and that ideally the area should be included within a city based division. It was noted by the Committee that such a decision would have significant implications for the proposals across the Southern region as a whole, and was felt not to pay due attention to the Community Governance Review decision in 2016 which had moved the area wholly into Laverstock Parish.

 

It was raised that the proposed Laverstock division comprising the areas of Bishopdown, Longhedge and Old Sarum, could be included within the Salisbury Area Board, without compromising the integrity of the parish by formally including any part of it with a part of the city parish. However, it was noted that this would mean the parish was still divided between two area boards, which was strongly opposed by some members.

 

After debate the Committee agreed to note that which divisions were included in which area board was a decision for Full Council, and could be analysed fully once the draft recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE)were known.

 

The Committee then discussed revised proposals for the Melksham area. It was explained that further meetings had been held with local members and some parish council representatives. It had been noted that the initial proposals to divide the Bowerhill area of Melksham Without had been strongly resisted as inappropriate on a community basis. As the town of Melksham itself was too large to contain 3 divisions, and too small for 4 divisions, and because the parish of Melksham Without was also required to be divided, it was proposed instead to join an area of north Melksham with the areas of Whitley, Shaw and Beanacre with which there was close connection, and create three other town divisions. Broughton Gifford would then be included in a division containing the southern section of Melksham Without not containing Bowerhill, and the remaining parishes. It was acknowledged this was not an ideal solution due to the geography of Broughton Gifford, but on balance was considered more appropriate than dividing Bowerhill into three divisions.

 

The Committee discussed the proposals, and it was agreed that although not a perfect solution, they represented the best set of proposals for the area that had been received to date.

 

During other discussion it was confirmed that only nominal names would be sent to the LGBCE with the proposal, and that Full Council would consider finalised names once the draft recommendations were known.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, it was,

 

Resolved:

 

To approve the draft submission for recommendation to Full Council, including the revisions to the Salisbury and Melksham area proposals, and subject to further amendments to minor movements inside the defined urban areas to be delegated to the Director of Legal and Democratic Services after consultation with the Chairman of the Committee;

 

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