Electoral review gets under way

A REVIEW is under way to consider the electoral arrangements of two parish councils and the views of the public are wanted.

Northumberland County Council has the powers to conduct community governance reviews which can involve creating new, or amalgamating parishes, amending electoral arrangements or changing names. It is currently carrying out such a review on behalf of Thirston Parish Council and Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council and is legally obliged to seek any comments on the proposals to remove their subdivision into wards.

The parish of Thirston comprises two wards: Eshott Ward and Thirston Ward. The parish of Newton on the Moor and Swarland comprises two wards: Newton Ward and Swarland Ward.

Both local parish councils are concerned at the additional election costs created by having two wards and at the impact of this cost on the parish precept.

The current electorates are 185 for Eshott and 271 for Thirston. The parish has six councillors, three representing each ward.

The electorates for Newton are 175 and 605 for Swarland. The parish has 12 councillors, five representing Newton ward and seven representing Swarland ward.

It is hoped that the recommendations of the reviews will lead to the removal the wards. If an order is made the changes will come into force for the next ordinary elections of the parish council in May 2013.

Any comments on the proposals should be submitted in writing to Lesley Bennett, Team Leader (Governance/People), Democratic Services, Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF or email Lesley.Bennett@northumberland.gov.uk by Friday, May 27.