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Agenda item

Area Board Boundary Review Consultation

To receive a presentation on the Area Board Boundary Review Consultation.

 

Due to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England boundary review of Wiltshire Council, some division boundaries will be changing and as a result Area Board boundaries are also subject to change. A consultation on the Area Board boundary changes will run from 10 September 2020 to 31 October 2020, please see links in the agenda pack.

Minutes:

Cllr Clewer explained that following a Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) boundary review of Wiltshire Council, some division boundaries would be changing after the 2021 elections and as a result Area Board boundaries also needed to be updated.

 

The Wiltshire Council constitution stated that each Member could only sit on one Area Board and each division had to be entirely within an Area Board, divisions could not be split across Area Boards, so area Board boundaries needed to be redrawn.

 

Many changes had been made by the LGBCE, one of which was divide the parish of Durrington between the Unitary Divisions of Durrington, and Avon Valley. The latter Division would include several parishes previously within the Tidworth Area Board. This change was as a result of growth and the Army Rebasing programme. It was felt that the new Durrington, and Avon Valley Divisions sat more naturally with the Amesbury Area Board.

 

The LGBCE also determined that the former Bourne and Woodford Valley Division would be divided between the Winterslow and Upper Bourne Valley Division and the Old Sarum and Lower Bourne Valley Division. Both of those Divisions included areas previously within the Southern Area Board.

 

Additionally, the parish of Idmiston had been split between Winterslow and Upper Bourne Valley Division and the Old Sarum and Lower Bourne Valley Division by the LGBCE. The cross-party Electoral Review Committee had looked the issues to try to find solutions. The Committee determined that no parish should be split across area boards as this had caused problems in the past. The Committee therefore considered both Winterslow and Upper Bourne Valley Division and the Old Sarum and Lower Bourne Valley Division should be in the same Area Board. The Parish of Laverstock and Ford was split between the Old Sarum and Lower Bourne Valley Division and the Laverstock Division. To avoid splitting a parish between Area Boards, all three Divisions would need to be included in the same area.

 

The Committee had met with all the Area Boards in order to try to determine the best solutions for the areas. There was a clear steer from Area Board Members that having a Tidworth and Amesbury Area Board would not be the correct solution. The Committee also felt that the Parish of Laverstock and Ford would not fit with the Amesbury Area Board, as it looked more towards Salisbury. Furthermore, the Committee felt that creating a 3 Member Area Board including those divisions would not be appropriate as it would be dominated by Laverstock and Ford, and it would mean a further three Member Board to the south, with associated problems for a quorum for decision making.

 

Therefore, the Committee had to decide if the three Divisions should be within the Amesbury Area Board or a South East Wiltshire Area Board. On balance, it was considered that the three divisions most appropriately fitted with the South East area. Therefore, it was proposed that the Amesbury Area Board comprise the Divisions of Amesbury East and Bulford, Amesbury South, Amesbury West, Avon Valley, Durrington and Till Valley.

 

A consultation on the Area Board boundary changes would run from 10 September 2020 to 31 October 2020, and people could email CGR@wiltshire.gov.uk to comment. The Committee would then review all responses to the consultation and prepare Final Recommendations for consideration by Full Council on 24 November 2020.

 

Cllr Hewitt felt that parishes may have difficulty in the new areas they had been assigned to as they felt loyal to their previous areas, he therefore felt that we may lose parish engagement as a result of these changes. Cllr Clewer responded that the changes were as a result of the LGBCE boundary review, Wiltshire Council had objected to the changes and was unable to change the divisions. It was stated that the proposals for the Area Board Boundary Review were the best solution they could provide for the divisions as determined by the LGBCE. It was a difficult situation and Cllr Clewer had great sympathy for the parishes. Parishes and the public were encouraged to respond to the consultation.

 

Cllr Wright thanked Cllr Clewer and the Committee for their hard work. Cllr Wright recommended that anyone with concerns voiced these in the consultation.

 

Winterbourne Parish Council stated that they would respond to the consultation once they had considered the proposals and formed an opinion.

 

The Chairman thanked Cllr Clewer for his update and work on this and again encouraged the public to respond to the consultation.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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