New shape of Suffolk councils unveiled – now it's up to Parliament
PUBLISHED: 05:26 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:50 23 October 2018
The electoral shape of two new councils being set up in Suffolk from May next year have been finalised by the Boundary Commission.
East Suffolk will have 55 councillors representing communities from the north of Lowestoft to Felixstowe and inland as far as Framlingham – it is being formed by a merger of Suffolk Coastal and Waveney councils.
West Suffolk, formed by a merger of St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath, will have 64 councillors.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that in East Suffolk there should be eight three-councillor wards, 10 two-councillor wards and 11 one-councillor wards.
In response to local feedback during the public consultation, the Commission has changed some of the proposals it put forward in July. In East Suffolk these were in the Southwold, Aldeburgh and Leiston, Wickham Market and Orford areas.
The Commission’s final recommendations propose that in West Suffolk there should be two three-councillor wards, 17 two-councillor wards and 24 one-councillor wards.
It has changed some wards in the south of the new “super-district” and also made boundary changes in Mildenhall, Newmarket and Haverhill.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said, “We are grateful to everyone who took the opportunity to have their say on how they should be represented in the future.
“We think this pattern of wards strikes the right balance between delivering fairness for voters as well as reflecting the shape of communities across East Suffolk.
“We are also grateful to people across West Suffolk who took part in the review. The Commission has looked at all the evidence that was put forward during the consultation.
“We believe these recommendations deliver electoral fairness for voters as well as reflecting community ties throughout West Suffolk.”
And the changes are not written in stone – they still need to be implemented by parliament.
A draft Order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in Parliament in the coming weeks.
It allows the electoral arrangements to come into force at the authority’s first elections in 2019.