Shake-up will see 73 of 84 Norfolk wards changed
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2014
Thousands of people across Norfolk will find themselves in different wards, under a shake-up of electoral divisions announced today.
Norfolk will continue to be represented by 84 councillors, the same number as now, but 73 of the wards will see radical changes to their boundaries.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England announced the review in 2019, because of what it described as "electoral imbalance in Norfolk divisions".
The review aims to make sure each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters - an average of 8,858 - and that each division reflects the interests and identities of communities.
Currently, 26 division are more than 10pc away from the average, which is expected to rise to 37 by 2025.
The commission's final recommendations will see many divisions look radically different, as well as the creation of a Hethersett ward in South Norfolk.
In total, 174 people and organisations made comments on the draft plans.
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Changes made to earlier proposals in response to what local responses include:
Redrawing the boundaries around Thetford Town to better represent the community interests of the area
Changes in the Taverham area to better reflect the community identities of electors in the parishes of Attlebridge, Morton on the Hill, and Weston Longville.
Publishing the recommendations Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “We are very grateful to people in Norfolk.
"We looked at all the views they gave us.
"They helped us improve our earlier proposals.
“We believe the new arrangements will guarantee electoral fairness while maintaining local ties.”
Of the comments made on the plans, 56 came from residents, with many people raising concerns about what it would mean for communities, with some calling it a waste of money while others argued it was just to benefit the "government in charge".
The only local business to respond was the owner of the Costessey Park Golf Course, who raised concerns that the boundary changes would mean the park would be split between two councils, potentially creating conflict for any future developments.
Parliament now needs to agree the changes. The new arrangements will then apply for the 2025 council elections.