Consultation opens on potential Boundary changes for North Ayrshire
The Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland has yesterday (Wednesday, 4 November) started a public consultation on proposals for councillor numbers and ward boundaries in North Ayrshire.
Proposals to be considered by the public include turning Arran into a one-member ward to reflects its island status and also having Ardrossan as a single ward.
There would be no change to overall number of Councillors, which is 33, but the number of wards would be cut from ten to nine.
The consultation runs until Tuesday, 26 January 2021.
The Commission wants members of the public and local communities to give their comments on the proposals so local views can be considered as the Commissions develop its final recommendations for Scottish Ministers.
The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 allows the use of one or two member wards, in addition to the existing three and four member wards, where a ward includes an inhabited island.
The recently introduced Scottish Elections (Reform) Act 2020 has also allowed the Commission to consider mainland wards of between two and five members.
The Commission conducted a consultation on its proposals with North Ayrshire Council from 16 July to 30 September 2020 and is now beginning a 12 week public consultation.
The current review covers the number of councillors on the council and the number and boundaries of wards for the election of those councillors.
It is expected that the Commission’s recommendations, if accepted, to be in place for the next local government elections in May 2022.
Craig Hatton, Chief Executive of North Ayrshire Council said:
“Local democracy is absolutely essential to all of us and we were pleased to have worked so closely with the Local Government Boundary Commission to reach these proposals.
“We now look forward to getting feedback from residents across North Ayrshire and would urge people to take part in the consultation.”
Ronnie Hinds, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are pleased to begin our public consultation on electoral arrangements for North Ayrshire council area. We have already consulted the Council and have considered their views carefully before preparing the proposals published today. We were grateful for the Council’s broad support and have adopted a small boundary change recommended. We now look forward to hearing the public’s views.
“We welcome the flexibility offered by the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 and Scottish Elections (Reform) Act 2020 to have wards of between one and five members as opposed to the existing three and four member wards. We have used this flexibility in North Ayrshire council area where we propose a single member Arran ward as well as three 5-member wards elsewhere in the council area.
“It is important that electoral arrangements for Scottish councils are effective and that our proposals provide for electoral fairness while taking account of local ties and special geographical considerations as far as possible. Hearing local views on these issues is vitally important as we develop our final recommendations.”
Proposals for North Ayrshire Council area:
By adopting the Locality boundaries in North Ayrshire, the Commission is presenting an electoral arrangement for 33 councillors representing one single-member ward, three 3-member wards, two 4-member wards and three five-member wards, retaining the existing number of councillors, and reducing the number of wards from ten to nine.
The proposals for North Ayrshire Council take account of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 and present a single member Arran ward reflecting its island status.
The proposals take account of the Scottish Elections (Reform) Act that allow the use of two-member and five-member wards to design three 5-member wards that better reflect local ties in the Garnock Valley, North Coast and Three Towns.
The proposals place Ardrossan within a single ward.
The proposals make no changes to the boundaries for the existing Irvine and Kilwinning wards.
Maps of the proposals are available on request.
Information on the review can also be found on the Commission’s website: www.lgbc-scotland.gov.uk
Check out the consultation here