Ward bound­aries could be re­drawn

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - QASIM PERACHA

A MA­JOR re­view of elec­toral ward bound­aries in Hilling­don has rec­om­mended the num­ber of coun­cil­lors drop by 12.

There are cur­rently 65 coun­cil­lors rep­re­sent­ing var­i­ous wards in Hilling­don, but the find­ings of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Bound­ary Commission for Eng­land rec­om­mended a re­duc­tion to 53.

In or­der to achieve this, the ward bound­aries in the bor­ough will have to be re­drawn.

The in­de­pen­dent commission re­viewed the num­ber of coun­cil­lors in Hilling­don and com­pared them with the names and num­bers of elec­tors in each bor­ough. The aim is to emerge with fewer wards, but with a sim­i­lar num­ber of elec­tors, which ac­cu­rately re­flects the way lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties are laid out.

Hilling­don Coun­cil is one of 25 Lon­don bor­oughs to take part in the commission’s three­year re­view. The rec­om­men­da­tions made will be put for­ward to the peo­ple of Hilling­don in a con­sul­ta­tion which will run un­til Novem­ber, be­fore draft rec­om­men­da­tions are pub­lished in Jan­uary. A sec­ond phase of con­sul­ta­tions will be held after the publi­ca­tion and the new ward bound­aries will be sched­uled to come in to ef­fect by the 2022 coun­cil elec­tions.

Coun­cil­lor Ray Pud­di­foot, Leader of the Coun­cil, said: “Hilling­don is a lively, thriv­ing and pop­u­lar place to live and work, but the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing struc­tures are out of touch with the way in which lo­cal gov­ern­ment op­er­ates to­day.

“De­spite hav­ing only the 11th largest elec­torate, Hilling­don has the third largest amount of elected coun­cil­lors amongst all the Lon­don bor­oughs.

“This is un­nec­es­sary. The coun­cil’s elec­toral struc­ture has not al­tered since 1999, but vast im­prove­ments in dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions now al­low coun­cil­lors to han- dle com­plex cases more quickly and ef­fi­ciently.”

Un­like the na­tional bound­ary re­views, the lo­cal bound­ary changes will not af­fect who is elected to par­lia­ment from the con­stituency, but the makeup of Hilling­don Coun­cil. The bound­ary changes may prove to im­pact who wins over­all control of the coun­cil.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Hilling­don Labour Group, Coun­cil­lor Peter Curl­ing said: “Now that the lo­cal gov­ern­ment bound­ary commission have de­cided that Hilling­don should have 53 coun­cil­lors rather than 65, we will work to en­sure that lo­cal res­i­dents and com­mu­nity groups are en­cour­aged to con­trib­ute to the con­sul­ta­tion process in or­der that the pro­posed new wards have the most suit­able bound­aries. It is an op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery­one to look at what makes sense, what doesn’t, and how res­i­dents can be best rep­re­sented. This is not an ac­tiv­ity that Coun­cil­lors and po­lit­i­cal par­ties can un­der­take alone - this is more about the lo­cal iden­tity of an area, rather than any po­lit­i­cal party and the en­tire com­mu­nity should be in­volved as they know their roads and towns bet­ter than any­one.”

Res­i­dents can view the pro­posal and have their say by vis­it­ing the con­sul­ta­tion’s web­site at con­sul­ta­tion.lgbce.org.uk or email­ing re­views@lgbce.org. uk , or writ­ing to ‘The Re­view Of­fi­cer (Hilling­don) LGBCE’, 1st Floor, Wind­sor House, 50 Vic­to­ria Street, Lon­don, SW1H 0TL.

The con­sul­ta­tion closes on Novem­ber 5 2018.

Uxbridge Coun­cil leader Cllr Ray Pud­di­foot

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