Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services which advised that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had published its draft recommendations on the current electoral review of Hampshire County Council. This Council had been invited to submit its views on these as part of the consultation process, which was running until 11 January 2016, for interested parties to make comments on these.
In respect of the Eastleigh Borough area, the LGBCE stated in their draft recommendations report that they “have partly based our draft recommendations on the County Council’s proposals for eight councillors. The proposals for West End resulted in a division with poor electoral equality. The geographical location of West End means it is difficult to include parts of Eastleigh or Hedge End in the division. Therefore, we have decided to create a two-member Hedge End and West End division which includes both the Hedge End and West End communities. We received submissions from respondents in Botley who objected to dividing the parish between divisions. However, in order to achieve good electoral equality between divisions, we have included the West Botley area in Hedge End and West End division”. A map was attached at Appendix 1 to the report to show this.
Whilst an eighth County Member was sought by this Committee, the intention was not to have this within a re-working of an existing division as all of the other divisions within the Borough were represented by a single Member (indeed the majority of County Divisions were represented by a single Member).
It was noted that the County Council was looking at an alternative model for three Divisions broadly in the Hedge End, West End and Botley (HEWEB) area and Fair Oak which could be considered by this Committee. A breakdown of electorates for these was shown at Appendix 2 to the report. There were clear advantages to this: the Horton Heath/West End development area would be in one County Division; Botley would be kept in one County Division; a small new polling district would be avoided in Grange Park and the ‘double division’ referred to in the previous paragraph would be removed. However, West End would remain split.
Given that the Boundary Commission would not accept any proposals that were more than 10% above or below the average for the County, there was not a perfect solution.
All town and parish councils in the Borough had been consulted. Bursledon Parish Council had suggested a slight alteration: “That the northern boundary of the Hamble Division should be coincident with Peewit Hill and Peewit Hill Close, then crossing Dodwell Lane to Pylands Lane and the main road through the Manor Farm Country Park to the current Botley boundary.” Members were in agreement with this suggestion and also endorsed the proposals of Hampshire County Council, including the creation of two single member divisions namely ‘Botley and Hedge End North’, and ‘Hedge End and West End South’.
(1) That the Borough Council notes the response of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and endorses the proposals of Hampshire County Council in reply thereto including the creation of two single member divisions namely ‘Botley and Hedge End North’, and ‘Hedge End and West End South’;
(2) That the Borough Council would like to see that the northern boundary of the Hamble Division be coincident with Peewit Hill and Peewit Hill Close, then cross Dodwell Lane to Pylands Lane and the main road through the Manor Farm Country Park to the current Botley boundary; and
(3) That this resolution formulates the Borough Council’s response to the current Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s electoral review of Hampshire.