Electoral arrangements finalised for Uttlesford District Council

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Uttlesford District Council.

Today’s publication follows a 12-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across the district.

The Commission’s final recommendations propose that Uttlesford should be represented by 39 councillors in the future, five fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent eight single-member, eleven two-member and three three-member wards across the district.

Max Caller, chairman of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to the people of Uttlesford district who took the time and effort to send us their views. The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations.

“Across the district, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements. As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters as well as reflecting the identities of communities across Uttlesford.”

In response to the views submitted during the consultation, the Commission proposes some changes to the draft recommendations it put forward in April.

In the Stort Valley and Stansted area, the Commission proposes to move away from its original recommendation for a three-member Stansted North ward in favour of a single-member Stort Valley ward, including the parish of Ugley, alongside a two-member Stansted North ward. The change reflects strong evidence of separate community identities in that part of the district.

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In the Takeley area, the Commission also proposes to alter its draft recommendations in response to the views expressed to it during public consultation. As such, the Commission’s final recommendations include the Bush End area of Hatfield Broad Oak parish in Broad Oak & the Hallingburys ward instead of Takeley ward as previously proposed. The Commission believes that the arrangement would be a better reflection of community interests and identities for that part of the district.

Elsewhere in the district, the Commission proposes to change some of the names of wards it put forward for consultation earlier in the year:

• The proposed Stansted South ward is re-named Stansted South & Birchanger

• Little Dunmow & Flitch Green ward is re-named Flitch Green & Little Dunmow

• Chesterford & Elmdon ward is re-named Littlebury, Chesterford & Wenden Lofts

• Great Dunmow South ward is re-named as Great Dunmow South & Barnston

The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament. A draft order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in Parliament in the coming months. The draft order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the council elections in 2015.