New-look council wards for Boston borough
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Boston Borough Council.
It follows a six-week public consultation on its draft proposals and draws new boundaries for each council ward across Boston.
The Commission's final recommendations propose that Boston should be represented by 30 councillors in the future, two fewer than under the current arrangements. The recommendations also propose that those councillors should represent three three-member wards, nine two-member wards and three single-member wards across the borough.
Max Caller, Chairman of the Commission, said: "We are extremely grateful to the people of Boston 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 borough, 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 interests of communities across Boston.
"In response to the views submitted to us during the consultation, we are proposing some changes to the recommendations we put forward in June. For example, we propose to alter our proposals for the parish of Fishtoft which had been divided between wards in our draft recommendations. We have made a significant alteration to the proposed boundary so that the whole parish will now be included in a single, three-member ward.
"We were also persuaded that our draft proposals would have divided the community of Skirbeck. We have therefore altered the recommendations so that St Nicholas School and St Nicholas Church are now included in a three-member Skirbeck ward.
"Similarly, we agree with the view expressed to us that the parish of Leverton shares strong community ties with the neighbouring parishes of Freiston, Butterwick and Benington. As such, we have included Leverton in a two-member Coastal ward which we believe reflects local community identities.
"Elsewhere, we are proposing some minor modifications to boundaries and the names of wards to reflect the feedback we received from local people and organisations."
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 next few months. The draft Order provides for the new electoral arrangements to come into force at the borough council elections in 2015.
Full details of the Commission's final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed on their website.