Local Government Boundary Commission concedes that redrawing boundaries in Cornwall will take until 2018
When Cornwall Council was established as a unitary council in 2009, the 6 former district councils and the county council were abolished to be replaced by the new Cornwall Council. There had been approximately 350 elected councillors in the district and county councils. In the new body, there are 123 elected councillors.
Boundaries of the electoral divisions were drawn in draft form prior to the 2009 election. After this election, revisions were made to the boundaries of many of the divisions in time for the elections in 2013.
It had been assumed by Cornwall Council that the boundaries and number of councillors would remain as they are for the 2017 elections. It was also assumed that, after the 2017 elections, the number of councillors and the electoral boundaries would be reconsidered in time for the elections in 2021. Such a review would be able to take account of changes in functions etc. that might happen as a result of the devolution deal agreed between the Council and the government.
However, in November 2015, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), the body with the legal duty to consider and to decide on these matters, announced that it would be carrying out a review of the number of councillors in Cornwall and the electoral divsion boundaries prior to the 2017 elections. This proposal met with unanimous opposition from the leaders of all groups on Cornwall Council and a letter has been despatched to the chair of the LGBCE making our views clear and asking that they reconsider the proposed timetable.
After further consideration, the LGBCE has now accepted that it would not be possible to complete the review before the 2017 elections. The new timetable assumes that the number of councillors will be determined by early 2017 and then the new boundaries drawn by spring 2018. The changes will then take effect from the next elections in 2021.