Agenda item

Area Board Boundary Review

To receive a report on preparing proposals for consultation on Area Board Boundaries.


Following the Electoral Review of Wiltshire Council the Area Boards as presently constituted would no longer align to the Electoral Divisions that would come into effect for the May 2021 local elections. Accordingly, it would be necessary for the Council to adopt alternative arrangements.


At its meeting on 21 July 2020 Full Council amended the terms of reference of the Committee to enable it to make recommendations in respect of the boundaries of Area Boards throughs uch processes as it considered appropriate.


In July 2020 representatives of the Committee arranged sessions for each Area Board to discuss the changes to Electoral Divisions and potential options and implications for any future Area Board arrangement.


The Committee reviewed each existing Area Board and the impact of the incoming Divisions, as well as considering if any historical arrangements were no longer the most suitable. Some of the points raised in debate included but were not limited to:


·       Agreeing that wherever possible parishes should not be split between Area Boards as this led to inefficient and sometimes contentious arrangements;

·       Considering whether the Division of By Brook might be suited to an Area Board other than Chippenham, but concluding it remained the most appropriate place for the Division.

·       It was noted that the Local Government Boundary Commission had split two parishes between Divisions in the South East of the council area and in order to avoid splitting any parishes between Area Boards there were Three Divisions which therefore would need to be incldued together. On balance, it was agreed that those Divisions should be included with the current Southern Area Board.

·       It was accepted that the Devizes Rural West Division, which included significant areas previously within the Melksham Area Board, should be included with the Devizes Area Board.

·       It was noted that three community areas in the East of the council area now had only Three Divisions. The Committee did not feel it was appropriate that those areas be merged in a single area board, so agreed that all would be included in a single Area Committee, which would appoint the Area Boards. This would enable them to have their own Chairs and make their own decisions, whilst allowing substitution arrangements to deal with any issues of quorum. The Committee did feel the area committee should itself still meet from time to time to ensure the benefits of community cooperation.

·       It was agreed the expanded Lyneham Division should remain in the Royal Wootton Bassett Area Board, and the expanded Holt Division in the Bradford on Avon Area Board.

·       For Amesbury Area Board it was agreed the parishes of the Avon Valley looked to the town and should be included within it, with the Bourne Valley area included in the Southern Area Board.

·       It was agreed the Salisbury Area Board should comprise only Salisbury City Divisions.

·       Other than to align to the new Divisions, there were no other proposed changes for the Corsham, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster, South West Wiltshire, or Tidworth Area Boards.


The Committee agreed that although it was not a requirement, there should be a consultation with the public, parishes and interested parties on its proposal, ahead of a meeting of Full Council of 24 November 2020.

At the conclusion of debate, it was,




To consult upon proposed new Area Board Boundaries from 10 September 2020 – 31 October 2020.


Note: Consultation document at this link.

Supporting documents: