Councils send all options to shape new West Suffolk Council wards

All options for new ward boundaries to create the new West Suffolk Council are to be put forward to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) for their consideration.

Both Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have met to consider the options to send to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and agreed that all options proposed should be included as part of their submission.

Both Councils have thanked local groups, town and parish councils as well as members of the public who have shaped the options going forward. The proposals also include suggestions made by individuals or groups.

The LGBCE having considered all the options makes the final decision on the proposal to go forward and will hold a further consultation on its own proposals over the summer.

Residents and organisations will have another opportunity to provide feedback during their consultation.

To help develop options for the wards the council has consulted widely and held two periods of engagement with its members and the options have also been considered by a cross party group of Councillors from both councils.

Government has backed proposals to replace the two present authorities with a new West Suffolk Council, and the order to create the new council is due to be debated in parliament later in May.

New council wards for the West Suffolk Council need to be created as the suggested number of councillors will reduce, in line with the LGBCE’s guidance, from 72 to 64.

The new wards will not affect either the external boundaries of West Suffolk or of any parish or town council. Current parish and town council boundaries are used as the building blocks to create the district-level wards which will result in an electorate of around 2,000 people for every councillor.

Councillor Carol Bull, St Edmundsbury Borough and councillor Ruth Bowman, Forest Heath District, chair and vice-chair of the of the Future Governance Steering Group, in a joint statement said: “One of the things we thought was crucial in creating this new council was that there should continue to be good local representation across West Suffolk. The views and engagement by local people and organisations as well as from councillors themselves has been vital in helping shape the various proposals and options that both councils looked at.

“Both councils have agreed all options that were put forward should be sent to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England who will have the final decision. There is no perfect solution and this is a complex issue but people can still submit their own options when the LGBCE holds its own consultation. We would like to thank everyone who has taken part so far and helped shape the options we have put forward.”

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