Number of councillors in Bexley set to be cut from 63 to 45
PUBLISHED: 00:05 08 November 2016
The proposals could come into force at the council elections in 2018
The number of councillors in Bexley could be cut from 63 to 45 under recommendations drawn up by the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
The councillors would represent eleven three-member wards and six two-member wards across the borough - down from the 21 wards that are currently represented on the council - as each ward boundary is redrawn.
Publication of the plans follows three phases of public consultation over the past year, and a number of revisions have been made to the original proposals.
A single ward represented by two councillors is now planned for Erith after the commission decided to scrap plans to combine Erith and Slade Green in one ward.
Plans to extend the Northumberland Heath ward almost to the river have been changed so the ward is smaller than the original proposal and provides a more recognisable boundary with Erith.
In the north-east of the borough, the commission now proposes a Slade Green and Northend ward as a better reflection of community identity than its previous proposal to combine Slade Green and Erith.
Barnehurst is now included as its own ward to be represented by two councillors, superseding the original proposals to combine communities in Northend with the Barnehurst area
Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “We are extremely grateful to people across Bexley 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 Bexley.”
In addition to further minor changes to the recommendations, the commission has responded positively to suggestions for amending the names of some its proposed wards, meaning Bostall ward will be renamed West Heath and the proposed Christchurch ward becomes Bexleyheath.
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, providing for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the council elections in 2018.
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