Public asked to help shape new west Suffolk council ward boundaries
- Credit: Archant
The public are being asked to help shape the new west Suffolk council ward boundaries ahead of plans to merge two authorities in the area.
This follows proposals put forward by St Edmundsbury borough and Forest Heath district councils to replace them with a single authority for west Suffolk.
If parliament approves the proposal for a new council, a new set of wards will need to be created before the first elections in 2019.
This review will be carried out during the summer by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), who are responsible for setting the ward boundaries for a new council.
In advance of the formal review, the two councils are asking people, groups and councils to share local considerations that need to be taken into account when drafting the initial proposals to be considered.
People can have their say at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/electoralreview until February 12.
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The warding review will not affect the external boundaries of either council or the external boundaries of any parish or town. It will use the current parish and town council boundaries as the building blocks to create the district-level wards.
Councillor James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “Making sure people continue to have strong local representation is vital for the new council and local knowledge is important in making sure we get our proposals right.
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“This is an informal stage so we can look at local links to help build the wards up. There will be more formal engagement later and the final decision will be made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.”
Councillor John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “From the very beginning we have been clear that any new council should be designed to best serve our communities.
“Local knowledge and aspirations will be vital in helping form our proposals and arguments as we shape the new council.
“We are at the initial stages and I want to reassure people there will both be further formal engagement and, of course, anyone will be able to make their own proposals to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.”