WEST Dorset should have six fewer councillors according to recommendations published by the boundary commission today, Tuesday, July 29.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for West Dorset District Council.
It follows a ten-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across the district.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that West Dorset should be represented by 42 councillors in the future, six fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent ten single-member wards, ten two-member wards and four three-member ward across the district.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to the people of West Dorset who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.
“Across the district, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements. As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities across the district.”
In light of feedback received during the public consultation, the Commission proposes to alter the draft recommendations it put forward earlier in the year. In particular, the Commission now proposes that the parishes of Chetnole and Stockwood should be part of the Yetminster & Cam Vale ward and not the Frome Valley ward as previously proposed.
Elsewhere in the district, the Commission proposes to make minor alterations to its draft recommendations in Dorchester to provide stronger and more identifiable ward boundaries.
The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament. A draft order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in Parliament in the coming months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the council elections in 2015.