Westminster is set to have new boundaries for its council wards. These will make sure the arrangements for council elections stay fair.
The Local Government Boundary Commission is the independent body that draws these boundaries. It reviews councils to make sure councillors represent about the same number of electors, and ward arrangements to help councils work effectively. Today it published final recommendations for changes in Westminster.
The Commission says residents should be represented by 54 councillors. This is six fewer than now. There will be 18 three-councillor wards. Three wards will remain the same, 15 will have different boundaries.
Professor Colin Mellors is Chair of the Commission. He said:
“We are extremely grateful to people across Westminster 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 Westminster.”
Nearly 250 people and organisations made comments to help decide the new wards. Changes in response to what local people said include:
Containing most of Marylebone in a single ward. There were different views about earlier proposals, but the Commission believes it has reached a solution that balances the community ties and electoral fairness.
Retaining Chinatown in St James’ ward rather than moving it to West End as we initially proposed. The Commission was persuaded by the view of the London Chinatown Chinese Association that liaising with one set of ward councillors would allow more effective local government.
The Commission has made further changes to its earlier proposals. Details can be found on its website at www.lgbce.org.uk.
Parliament now needs to agree the changes. The new arrangements will then apply for the 2022 council elections.