Possible ward changes to be made across Havering.

An ‘extraordinary’ meeting is taking place tomorrow evening at the town hall in Romford.

A full council members meeting has been called to discuss possible boundary changes across Havering.

New wards could be seen across Collier Row, the Harrow Lodge area of Hornchurch, Beam Park in Rainham and a new area between the current large ward of Wennigton and Rainham.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) began undertaking a review of the London Borough of Havering’s local government electoral arrangements last year.

The outcome of the review will be implemented in readiness for the 2022 Council elections.

The review forms two parts. The first part determines the Council size. In September 2019, Full Council recommended to the Commission that it retain its existing cohort size of 54.

The Commission subsequently informed the Council that it was minded to agree to the proposal.

The second part (Part 2) is concerned with determining the warding arrangements in terms of the number of wards and the number of representatives of each ward which make up the Council, based on statutory criteria

An officer working group has prepared a number of options for the Governance Committee to consider.

The Electoral Review undertaken by the LGBCE will take into account the number of Councillors in the Borough and the warding arrangements. The warding arrangements will deal with the number of wards, the ward boundaries, the number of councillors elected to each ward and the names of each ward.

Submissions for Part 2 of the process dealing with the warding patterns must be made by 09/03/2020. Officers have attended training with the LGBCE and the early indication has been that there is a tolerance of + or – 2 Councillors to the number of 54 for the purposes of the Part 2 process.

Four options for Part 2 have been made available on the Council’s website and members of the public can feed into this and make recommendations to the Boundary Commission supporting any of these options or indeed suggesting their own. When the LGBCE determine the warding patterns they take into account the following criteria:

Electoral equity for voters
Community identities and interests.
Effective and convenient Local Government.

Other options may be put forward by members of the public and community groups etc. These will all be considered by the LGBCE and it was noted that the deadline for public submissions was 02/03/2020.
The Governance Committee was asked to recommend its preferred option

Officers have used current and predicted data/GSI mapping technology to formulate the options. Data and maps are available on the London Borough of Havering website. Consideration has been given to past and present warding patterns; polling districts; approved developments; population forecasts; key local infrastructure; natural boundaries, such as railways, rivers and roads; public health data; Ordinance Survey maps; and on the ground sense checks.

An overview of all the options was presented to the Committee.

Option 1 used the Polling Districts as a starting point and is the model of status quo to maintain the current status of:
 54 Councillors across 18, 3 Member wards.
 All wards within +/- 10% variance
 Ward names remain as is
 Electorate predicted to be affected by 2025 is 36,391, (17.42%).
This option will have the least impact.

Option 2 again used Polling District statistics and also allowed for the creation of two new wards as follows:
 54 Councillors across 20 wards
 New wards in the Romford and Beam Park areas
 Mix of 2 and 3 Member wards
 All wards except one within the +/- 10% variance
 Electorate predicted to be affected by 2025 is 35,209 (16.86%)

Option 3 utilised information from the last Boundary Commission Review in 1999:
 52 Councillors over 20 wards
 A mix of 2 and 3 Member wards
 New wards in the Romford and Beam Park areas
 New names for a number of wards
 Electoral equality (+/- 10% variance) achieved in 12 of the 20 wards
demonstrating less compliance with the criteria.
 Electorate predicted to be affected by 2025 is 102,509 (41.1%)
This represents a significant change, reducing the Member cohort to 52.

Option 4 considered the natural boundaries such as railway lines, rivers and A roads. Consideration was given to how public health colleagues divide the Borough.
 Blank canvass approach with Borough loosely divided into 3 districts, north, central and south
 56 Members over 21 wards
 Mix of 2 and 3 Member wards

These options will be voted for at tomorrow’s full council meeting where councillors will have the chance to vote on what option they feel is the best. From there these results will go to the Boundary Commission that will either agree or disagree with what the council has chosen.

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