Maps reveal how Norfolk County Council election shake-up could affect you
- Credit: PA
A shake-up could see the council divisions across Norfolk redrawn, with thousands of people potentially finding themselves in different wards.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has been considering whether there should be a new pattern of council divisions in the county.
The commission says a review of Norfolk County Council’s electoral divisions was needed because of an “electoral imbalance in Norfolk divisions”.
The review aims to make sure each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters and that each division reflects the interests and identities of communities.
The commission said it was not planning to cut the number of councillors from the current 84.
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Norfolk County Council was asked to make its own submission to the process, but that was delayed when concerns were raised by South Norfolk Council over projected future housebuilding in that district.
The Boundary Commission decided the county council submission for the whole of Norfolk would have to be redone using a revised methodology.
And the submission has now happened without councillors getting the opportunity to vote for it.
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Because of emergency measures brought in because of coronavirus, the submission, which would ordinarily have gone to full council, was lodged by head of paid services Tom McCabe using delegated powers.
Under the council’s proposals, there would be one fewer division in north Norfolk and one extra in South Norfolk, with a new Hethersett division created.
But many other divisions would change their names and boundaries shifted.
A county council spokesman said: “Due to the government’s coronavirus restrictions leading to the cancellation of our current meetings, our head of paid service has authorised the county council’s submission to the Boundary Commission, in order to meet the commission’s deadline for final responses.
“The submission had been postponed when the commission extended the deadline, in recognition of delays caused by the December general election. This created an opportunity to review and use the most up to date data.”
The Boundary Commission will make the ultimate decision and the public is due to get the chance to have a further say when its draft proposals are published in June.