It's clearly written in their report than they will be used for the first time at the 2014 election. That will be the case for all reviews, really, since an order is needed and, usually, it doesn't come before a few months. It's usually planned than they will be used for the first time at the next election.
If we check all reports: Fenland: 2015 Gedling: 2015 Hambleton: 2015 Herefordshire: 2015 South Orfordshire: 2015 Tower Hamlets: 2014 Vale of the White Horse: 2015 Warwick: 2015
A Tower Hamlets target list would be near to meaningless anyway, given the defections and role of the "Independent" Rahmanites.... and the Respect candidates seem to fish in exactly the same pool (with the backing of exactly the same "Community Leaders").
Kingswells/Sheddocksley (ward 3) is renamed as Kingswells/Sheddocksley/Summerhill; Northfield (ward 4) is renamed as Northfield/Mastrick North; Hilton/Stockethill (ward 5) is renamed as Hilton/Woodside/Stockethill; Kincorth/Loirston (ward 13) is renamed as Kincorth/Nigg/Cove.
Certainly not. Those Three Rivers boundaries are awful.
Where they followed the Council's suggestions naturally I think the draft recommendations are quite good ; where they have done otherwise they make less sense (in my opinion). We shall see what the public make of it all. The commission have also made some bizarre proposals in relation to ward names, for reasons that are entirely unclear.
Post by Pete Whitehead on Apr 17, 2013 22:06:46 GMT
I did have a play around with some boundaries here with the polling district info provided. It is difficult to do a better job in the Abbots area and Croxley is fine but the other areas are a mess. I think I concluded that 14 or 15 three member wards (if it has to be three member wards) would work better but I suspect the council size is non-negotiable. I will have to have another crack at this
Post by David Boothroyd on Apr 17, 2013 22:10:38 GMT
One of the reasons Three Rivers ward boundaries are very easy to get wrong is that the council's own boundaries are ludicrous. Watford should have been made bigger from the start (including Abbots Langley to the north and South Oxhey and Carpenders Park to the south), and the Chorleywood/Rickmansworth axis included in a West Hertfordshire district including the western bits of Dacorum district. Then the remainder of Dacorum could be more focussed on Hemel.
Post by East Anglian Lefty on Apr 17, 2013 22:32:00 GMT
My understanding was that council size could only be changed after the draft recommendations under exceptional circumstances - it being determined by councillor responsibilities rather than by community ties? I might very well be wrong on that, but given the upheaval a major change in councillor numbers would have, it's hard to imagine the Commission not digging their heels in over that.
On the other hand, it shouldn't be too difficult to add a single-member ward for Sarratt whilst having enough electors for five three-member wards in the rest of the Chorleywood/Rickmansworth group. The Sarratt ward would be slightly outside the range by 2018, but it already produces fairly crap electoral equality and Chorleywood South will be outside the range by 2018, so I'm not convinced it'd be a change for the worse.
I don't see any easy solution in Watford Rural. Oxhey Hall can't stand alone with a 39 member council, and if it doesn't go with South Oxhey then Carpenders Park is the only alternative. The draft recommendations already made clear that Carpenders Park doesn't want to be divided, and convincing the Commission they're wrong (as opposed to just in need of a bit of additional information) is next to impossible, particularly if they have a submission from somebody else supporting them. And it's not as if Oxhey Hall and the northern half of Carpenders Park is a natural community with good internal links. This being the case, I don't see how you can avoid pairing Oxhey Hall with part of South Oxhey. It's ugly, but I don't see a nicer scheme that the Commission would buy.
My understanding was that council size could only be changed after the draft recommendations under exceptional circumstances - it being determined by councillor responsibilities rather than by community ties?
Once they've finished their council size consultation, in general that's it, except that (and the recent Rushcliffe FER is a good example of this) they will vary that number by one or at a push two, if a warding scheme that manifestly conforms better to reflecting local communities etc etc comes up that uses a slightly different number.
The whole way they conduct the council size consultation is the worst bit of the process, IMO. In Tower Hamlets recently there was a general consensus for reduction, so they reduced the size of the council; in Hackney next door there was a consensus for no change or a slight increase, so they went with no change. The two boroughs are pretty equivalent and the number of councillors should be based on some degree of broad logic, not what the groups at the Town Hall want.
I give up. They should have gone for 42 seats - I can come up with a half decent solution for 14 3-member wards
Pete, can I send you a Labour Party membership application form? Yes, it was Labour that made a submission for a 42-member council on the basis that it would allow much greater flexibility when drawing boundaries. Also, we opposed the 'one-size-fits-all' approach that a uniform system of 3-member wards imposes. We felt the unusual geography of Three Rivers demaned a mixed system of 1-, 2- and 3-member wards.
However, we are where we are, and with a 39-seat authority the current council's submission was infinitely better than what has been published.
There are some laughable errors in the Boundary Commission document. For example, did you know that Carpenders Park station is on the Metropolitan Line?
Post by Pete Whitehead on Apr 18, 2013 21:47:50 GMT
Didn'd the Tories suggest 30 seats? I wonder how that would have worked out. I think you're right they should have stuck with a mixture of 1,2 and 3 member wards. I';m not actually too worried about keeping Sarratt as a seperate ward as it fites well enough with Chorleywood, but Bedmond is more of a problem and of course the Watford Rural situation
Post by Pete Whitehead on Apr 18, 2013 22:12:59 GMT
Even if you did want to go with all 3 member wards, 14 would seem to be the logical number, because of the distinct areas within the district. 14 wards would have an average electorate of around 5k and each of the areas have electorates which are divisible by that number Abbots Langley c. 15k - 3 seats Croxley c. 10k - 2 seats Chorleywood (+Sarratt) c. 10k - 2seats Rickmansworth (inc Moor Park etc) c. 20k - 4seats Watford Rural c. 15k - 3 seats There's still a problem with how to divide Watford Rural because that itself is not a natural community, or in as much as it is, is one which is internally divided on very clear lines which would not fit this model
Of course if the had gone for my Borough of Colne plan 20 years ago, we wouldn;t have this problem. We could have 3 member wards that would more or less correspond to the county divisions (this would also be a 42 member council as it happens)