People across Waverley could be ‘moving’ – and not even realise it.
The Boundary Commission is looking at redrawing the political map of the county council, it says, to ensure councillors “represent the same number of electors”.
It follows recent boundary changes at town/parish, borough and parliamentary level.
Under the proposed changes, Waverley would retain its nine county councillors out of a total 81 county councillor seats across Surrey.
But some changes to boundaries are mooted.
Waverley Eastern Villages
The realignment of electors from Chiddingfold parish, initially proposed by the county council for the Haslemere division, was not adopted by the commission. Instead, it favoured maintaining the Chiddingfold parish within the Eastern Villages division, emphasising community identity over electoral equality concerns.
The Haslemere division presented challenges because of electoral equality discrepancies. Although a potential reallocation of electors from Hindhead was considered, it would have negatively impacted the Frensham, Elstead & Hindhead division.
Waverley western villages
Witley Parish Council’s proposal to unify the entire parish within the Godalming South, Milford & Witley division was not adopted, given its adverse effects on electoral equality. Instead, the commission opted to retain the Western Villages division while integrating electors from Wormley to ensure a more equitable distribution.
Farnham Central, Farnham North and Farnham South divisions are set to remain unchanged in the commission’s draft recommendations. These divisions were found to exhibit good electoral equality, and most borough wards within Farnham are wholly contained within a single division.
The divisions of Godalming North and Godalming South, Milford & Witley are largely maintained, with adjustments to improve ‘coterminosity’, reflecting the natural boundaries of the settlements they represent.
The review is being carried out as the commission is obligated to look at the electoral arrangements of every council in England ‘from time to time’ – and it last looked at Surrey in 2012.
The commission says its preferred new layout would help the council to carry out its functions more effectively as it would even out the populations within each division.
The consultation started on August 8 and runs through to October 16.
Launching the consultation, commission chairperson Professor Colin Mellors, said: “We want people in Surrey to help us.
“We have drawn up proposals for new divisions in Surrey. We want to make sure these new electoral arrangements reflect communities.
“We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.
“Residents and local organisations can help us do that. We would like them to let us know whether they agree with our proposals before we take final decisions.
“It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website, or you can email or write to us.
“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that.
“It’s really simple, so do get involved.”
To view the proposals in full and comment on the names of divisions or their boundaries visit https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/surrey
By Chris Caulfield, Local Democracy Reporter