Proposed changes to electoral boundaries for Chichester District are formally supported

The number of Chichester District councillors looks set to be reduced from 48 to 36 following an Electoral Review of the district.

Councillors today agreed to support recommendations made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England subject to the following changes:

  • That the parish of Elsted and Treyford be included in the Harting Ward rather than Midhurst. This is on the basis that community identity and effective and convenient local government outweigh the minimal electoral inequality.
  • Renaming the Bosham & Donnington ward as Harbour ward and the North Mundham & Tangmere ward as Tangmere ward.
  • That the flats on the western side of Velyn Avenue, with Peter Weston Close should be included in the Chichester Central Ward.
  • That the eastern and southern sides of Velyn Avenue in Chichester should remain with the Whyke Ward because of community identity.
  • To leave Pound Farm in Chichester South Ward rather than transfer it to Chichester East as this would create a very small and unviable city council ward.

The Commission is currently in the last stages of a public consultation. There is still time for people to have their say on the commission's proposals before the deadline on 10 October.

The commission is responsible for deciding:

  • the total number of councillors (council size);
  • number of wards;
  • names of wards; and
  • boundaries of wards.

The aim of the review has been to recommend electoral division boundaries so that each councillor represents approximately the same number of voters. The review has also tried to ensure that the pattern of divisions reflects the interests and identities of local communities as well as promoting effective local government.

Following the reduction in the number of councillors, each councillor will now represent an average of 2,744 people, compared with the current figure of 1,930. Under the proposals there will be 21 wards instead of the current 29.

Councillor Philippa Hardwick, Cabinet Member for Finance and Governance at Chichester District Council, says: "We are broadly in support of many of the proposals put forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission and we feel that the council will still be able to carry out its roles and responsibilities effectively with 36 councillors instead of the current number of 48.

"There are, however, certain points that we feel need a little more work. Our comments mainly relate to community identity and ensuring people have effective and convenient local government.

"Although we have made our own formal submission, the public consultation is still in progress. I urge people across the district and in particular those areas where we have highlighted issues to the LGBC and proposed alternative arrangements, to make their views known.

"This review is an opportunity for people to think about their community and where they think the ward boundaries should be."

People can submit their views to the Local Government Boundary Commission by emailing reviews@lgbce.org.uk or in writing to: The Review Officer (Chichester), LGBCE, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London, SW1P 4QP.

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It is anticipated that the final recommendations will be made towards the end of this year and will take effect in time for the next District and Parish Council Elections in May 2019.