WARDS REDRAWN TO REFLECT RICHMONDSHIRE’S IDENTITY

Richmondshire councillors have added their proposal to consultation on how to draw up the authority’s future ward boundaries.

Members of Full Council last night (Tuesday September 5) opted for 24 single wards – saying it will not only allow for better administration by councillors but make it much clearer for residents to know who their elected representative is.

Earlier this year councillors asked the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) to look at proposals to reduce the number of councillors from 34 to 24 - as part of an on-going drive to improve efficiency within the authority.

They said the authority is ‘oversized’ and could easily operate and function with a 29% reduction in members – but still provide the right representation for the district’s residents.

The commission indicated in June that it was ‘minded’ to approve the reduction and has since been undertaking consultation exercises with local bodies and residents to seek views – and possible new structures - before making a final decision.

“Since then a member working group has been looking at the ward boundaries,” said Council Leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock.

“We believe our 24 single wards reflects equality in representation, community interest and identity and provides effective local government.   We hope the boundary commission will also see that and adopt our solution.”

The District Council want to see 24 single member wards of:  Swaledale and Arkengarthdale; Yoredale; Leyburn West; Leyburn East; Coverdale and Middleham; Lower Wensleydale; Catterick Village; Brough; Colburn East; Colburn West; Scotton; Hipswell East; Hipswell West; Brompton on Swale; Scorton; Barton; Melsonby and Middleton Tyas; Richmond North; Richmond East; Richmond South; Richmond Central; Richmond West and Lower Swaledale; and Newsham and Eppleby.

The LGBCE will publish draft recommendations for further consultation on October 31 with a final decision on the new structure expected in April next year (2018) with changes effective from local elections in May 2019.

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