WARD boundaries for the new Dorset Council have been published by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, with Lyme Regis and Charmouth being split from the Marshwood Vale.
Next year, two new unitary authorities will replace the existing county and district and borough councils in Dorset. In the west of the county, the new Dorset Council will be established to replace the county and district councils.
The commission has drawn up the boundaries following an electoral review of the area currently covered by East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth & Portland and West Dorset district councils.
The review creates new wards that will be represented by the Dorset Council’s 82 councillors. The new arrangements will come into effect at the council’s first elections next year.
The commission’s final recommendations propose that Dorset’s 82 councillors should represent six three-councillor wards, 18 two-councillor wards and 28 one-councillor wards.
Lyme Regis and Charmouth will become a ward represented by one councillor, and the Marshwood Vale will be a separate ward also represented by one councillor.
Currently under Dorset County Council, the Marshwood Vale is one division including Lyme Regis and Charmouth, and is represented by Conservative councillor Daryl Turner.
At West Dorset District Council, Lyme Regis and Charmouth is represented by both Councillor Turner and his sister, independent Cheryl Reynolds.
Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the commission, said: “We are grateful to everyone who took the opportunity to have their say on how they should be represented in the future. We looked carefully at every submission we received before finalising the recommendations.
“We think this pattern of wards strikes the right balance between delivering fairness for voters as well as reflecting the shape of communities across Dorset.”
In response to local feedback during the public consultation, the commission has changed some of the proposals it put forward in July. The changes, and the full recommendations, are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk.
The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by parliament. A draft order – the legal document which brings into force the recommendations – will be laid in parliament in the coming weeks.
The draft order provides for the electoral arrangements to come into force at the authority’s first elections in 2019.