The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Watford Borough Council.
Today’s publication follows an eight-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Watford.
The Commission now proposes that the Kytes Drive area should be part of Meriden ward rather than Stanborough ward as previously proposed, following feedback from the council. The Commission received strong evidence about local ties in this part of Watford which persuaded it to change the proposals.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Watford should be represented by 36 councillors in the future: the same as the current arrangement. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent twelve three-member wards across the borough.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Watford 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 borough, 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 in Watford.”
In response to representations made to it on the draft recommendations, the Commission has made changes to the draft proposals it originally put forward for consultation in August.
In light of submissions made by local people and groups, the Commission has changed its draft recommendations so that the whole of the Greenbank Road area is part of the Nascot ward rather than part of it being included in Leggatts ward as previously proposed.
Elsewhere in the borough, the Commission has confirmed its draft recommendations as final. Full details of the final recommendations are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.
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 2016.