West Suffolk residents urged to help shape future of new council ward boundaries

Residents are being urged to have their say on latest proposals by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to create new ward boundaries.

The Commission is responsible for making the decision on what the wards for the new West Suffolk council will be when it is created in April 2019.

New council wards for the West Suffolk Council need to be created as the suggested number of councillors will reduce, in line with the Commission’s guidance, from 72 to 64. This means each councillor will serve around 2,000 elector in each ward.

West Suffolk Councils put forward options, using the existing parish and town council boundaries as building blocks. These options were developed through two periods of engagement and overseen by a cross party group of councillors from both Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

The Commission has today, Tuesday, published their proposals. West Suffolk Council Shadow Authority will need to look at these in detail and discuss at its next meeting on the best way to form its response.

The Councils are also encouraging local groups and individuals to have a look at the proposals and let the Commission know their views. It’s important that people and organisations tell the Commission what they like and don’t like about the ward proposals and how they can be improved.

Councillor John Griffiths and Councillor James Waters, Leader and Deputy Leader of the West Suffolk Shadow Authority said in a joint statement: “While there will never be a perfect fit making sure there is the right representation for our residents is vital. We now have the initial proposals put forward by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England which we will be looking at in detail. The options we put forward earlier in the year followed two rounds of public engagement, including looking at local issues and concerns. These have helped inform the Commission in drawing up their own latest proposals. We will be assessing their proposed ward boundaries and considering a response to the consultation from the Shadow Authority. We would also encourage local residents, communities and groups, whose responses carry equal weight, to make their views known to the Commission who ultimately have the final say on what the new wards will look like.”

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk Hard copies of the maps are also available to view at the Council offices in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Mildenhall.

The Commission is asking for local views on the proposals before it finalises them in October. The consultation runs until 27 August 2018.