West Norfolk Council could face seat cut in ward boundary review

GV of  the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn
GV of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, King's Court Hq, Chapel Street King's Lynn
Have your say

Voters in West Norfolk could see significant changes to the make-up of the borough council following a forthcoming boundary review.

Discussions have begun between with the Boundary Commission about a re-assessment of the 42 wards that currently make up the authority’s area.

Although there is no indication so far of any potential measures, similar reviews in neighbouring districts have led to both proposed and implemented reductions in council seats.

In a report published ahead of tonight’s full council meeting, leader Brian Long said: “Following a meeting I had with representatives of the Boundary Commission, we have to prepare a review of our ward size and make-up of the council.”

He said the review was felt to be necessary, as more than a decade had passed since the last one and there was a wide disparity in ward sizes.

The largest ward in the borough is thought to be 22 per cent bigger than average, while the smallest is 31 per cent below the average.

A full briefing will take place ahead of the February meeting, while group leaders will also be invited to discussions with commission officials.

Any changes that are approved are likely to be implemented in time for the next borough elections in 2019.

A similar review of Breckland Council boundaries, completed in 2014, saw the number of seats cut by five to the current 49.

A consultation is currently underway on proposals to reduce the number of seats on North Norfolk District Council from the present 48 to 40.

Under the plans, which were published last month, the number of wards with two councillors would be halved from 14 to seven, with only one of the present 34 wards being abolished.

In West Norfolk, 14 of the present 42 wards are represented by two councillors, while three – Denton, Gaywood North Bank and Hunstanton – each have three councillors.

Residents have until January 30 to comment on the North Norfolk plans. Visit www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/norfolk/north-norfolk for more details.