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Review of electoral ward boundaries in Rhondda Cynon Taf

The Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales will undertake a review of the electoral ward boundaries in Rhondda Cynon Taf – and residents will be able to have their say in a public consultation.

The Commission, which is independent from the Welsh Government and political parties, will begin its review with a 12-week consultation from August 1 to October 23. This will inform the development and publication of draft proposals for the new electoral wards – in order to correct levels of electoral inequality across the County Borough.

The Council is already developing its own response to the consultation, and will engage with residents and stakeholders around this during September.

A further consultation based on the draft proposals will take place in summer 2019 and, following consideration by Welsh Government, the new electoral wards will be applied for the next Local Government Election in May 2022.

A presentation by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales took place to Elected Members in the Full Council meeting on Wednesday, July 25, where the Commission’s chairman Owen Watkin and Chief Executive Steve Halsall explained to Councillors about the upcoming review process.

The review will propose the pattern of electoral wards for the whole of the County Borough, proposing the total number of Councillors, the number and boundaries of electoral wards, the number of Councillors for each ward, and the names of the electoral wards.

The Commission will work to a number of criteria including electoral equality, to ensure a fair representation in each ward. It will also consider clear boundaries which maintain local ties and promote community identity.

Rhondda Cynon Taf currently has, based on Office for National Statistics estimates, a total of 172,673 electors. The Council has 75 elected members, which is an average of one Councillor to 2,302 electors. The Commission will aim for the new wards to maintain this ratio as far as possible.

The Commission has noted four wards which currently vary from this ratio by more than 25% - Church Village, Cwmbach, Tonyrefail West and Ynysybwl.

Councillor Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Council Business, said: “I’d like to thank the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Boundary Commission for their presentation to Full Council, in order to explain the process for the upcoming review of electoral wards in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“This independent review is being carried out to assess the current makeup of the electoral wards, and put forward proposals to adjust boundaries for areas where residents are currently over and under-represented – in terms of the number of electors per Elected Member.

“Following an initial consultation from August to October 2018, the Commission will put forward draft proposals for the new electoral wards.

“This is the start of the process which will change the shape of the electoral wards in Rhondda Cynon Taf for the 2022 Local Election. I would urge residents to have their say in the consultation to make their views heard.”

Posted on Monday 30th July 2018