Electoral Review of Devon County Council

The Devon (Electoral Changes) Order 2016

The Devon (Electoral Changes) Order 2016 No. 657 which was laid before Parliament on 22 March 2016 has now come into effect.

The Order gives effect to the recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England on the County Council’s electoral divisions, for a Council of 60 Members with 56 single-member divisions and 2 two-member divisions, from 2017 onwards. Whilst you can view a Map on the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (the LGBCE) website, we have produced individual PDF maps of each Division which can be found here.

The information below provides an archive of the review process:

Final recommendations

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (the LGBCE) has today (26 January 2016) published its final recommendations for the County Council’s electoral divisions from 2017 onwards, for a Council of 60 Members, following the further consultation on its original proposals for part of North Devon.

While the Commission’s draft recommendations reflected the County Council’s  submission on ‘Council Size’ – that there should be 60 councillors in the future, two fewer than the current arrangements – and the proposed  ‘apportionment’ between district council areas, the Commission’s proposals confirm the suggested pattern of representation of those 60 councillors across the county,  through 56 single-member divisions and 2 two-member divisions.

In response to representations made the Commission has made some changes to its original proposals and has agreed a new pattern for divisions covering the Combe Martin Rural, Ilfracombe, Landkey, Chittlehampton and South Molton areas. Elsewhere the Commission has changed its recommendations for Broadclyst and Whimple & Blackdown divisions in order to reflect the boundary of the new parish of Cranbrook; has now included Bickington Parish in the Ashburton & Buckfastleigh division and has also amended the boundary between Alphington & Cowick and Exwick & St Thomas divisions. Additionally, as a result of submissions made during the consultation, the Commission also amended the names of several divisions.

Details of the Commission’s final recommendations are summarised in this press release and in the accompanying detailed report and map. The proposed new arrangements must now be approved by Parliament and 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 County Council elections in 2017.

Background

Local Government Boundary Commission for England: Electoral Review of Devon County Council

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has included the County Council in its electoral review programme for 2014/15 because of variations in size of electorates (i.e those entitled to vote) in the current 62 Divisions.

The first stage of this process relates to the issue of Council size. The Council has been invited to submit its views on this by 17 September 2014. The Commission will then consider the Council’s views and publish it’s own proposals for the size of Devon County Council at the end of October following which there will be a further period for representations to be made on the pattern of specific divisions, between November 2014 and January 2015. The Commission’s final recommendations will then be published, for consultation, in May 2015. The detailed timetable can be seen here.

The County Council’s response to that first stage of the Commission’s Review of existing electoral division boundaries is set out in the submission approved by the County Council on 24 July 2014. For the reasons set out fully in this document the County Council believes that a Council of 60 Divisions would be both sensible and desirable

More information about this Review may be found on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.

Update: September 2015

The Local Government Boundary Commission was due to announce its final recommendations for the County Council’s new electoral boundaries on 29 September 2015. However, the Commission has now delayed doing so pending a further limited period of consultation on its proposals for North Devon which will run until 26 October. Interested persons are invited to submit any further views they may have on the Commission’s revised proposals, by that deadline. A copy of the Commission’s latest letter  and the revised proposals may be viewed via the links below:

As a consequence of this delay the Commission’s final recommendations for the whole of the Council’s area and any other changes they may have made to their original proposals will not now be known until January 2016.

The subsequent timetable (i.e for the laying of a draft Order before Parliament seeking approval to the Commission’s recommendations – in place of that referred to below in the July update) will be published as soon as possible. Any draft Order will be placed in both Houses of Parliament (the House of Commons and the House of Lords) for a period of 40 days. Parliament can either accept or reject the Commission’s proposals, but they cannot be modified or changed.

Update: July 2015

The public consultation by the Local Government Boundary Commission on its recommendations for future electoral arrangements of Devon County Council – which it published in May suggesting a Council of 60 county councillors with 56 single-member divisions and two 2-member divisions – ends on 6 July 2015.

Read The County Council’s response to the Commission’s proposals.

The Commission will consider the results of that consultation exercise and publish its final recommendations in September 2015. Once the Commission has published its recommendations it cannot alter them.

Subsequently, in November, a draft Order will be placed before Parliament seeking approval to the Commission’s recommendations. The draft Order will be placed in both Houses of Parliament (the House of Commons and the House of Lords) for a period of 40 days. Parliament can either accept or reject the Commission’s proposals but they cannot be modified or changed.

If approved, the new electoral arrangements, division boundaries and names will come into effect for the May 2017 County Council elections.

For more information on the process please see the Commission’s letter and press release below.

Update: May 2015

The  Commission have now published its draft proposals for the  future boundaries of County Council electoral divisions upon which people across Devon may comment.

An eight-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today (12 May) and will end on 6 July 2015. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new county council electoral divisions, division boundaries and division names across Devon.

The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Devon County Council should have 60 county councillors in the future, two fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent 56 single-member divisions and two two-member divisions across the county.

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings and libraries.

Update: November 2014

In welcoming the Commission’s proposals as indicated below in October, the Council’s response may be found here.

The Council looks forward to receiving the Commission’s detailed proposals next May – should it decide to proceed within the current timeline.

The following map demonstrates a possible 60 seat arrangement. As shown, there would be 2 seats for Tiverton, Newton Abbot and Barnstaple locations and 3 for Exmouth.

Update: October 2014

The Commission has now confirmed that it is ‘…minded to recommend that 60 county councillors should be elected to Devon County Council in future…’ as originally suggested by the County Council.

The Commission is now seeking proposals – from the Council and others – on the pattern of divisions for a Council of that size before 19 January 2015. Those views will then be taken into account by the Commission which will then publish its own suggested recommendations next May, for further public consultation thereafter.

For more information on the process and what will happen next please see the Commission’s letter and press release.