THE public has been given a second chance to comment on plans to redraw the political map in the New Forest by axing 12 seats from the district council.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is suggesting the authority cut its 60-strong membership by a fifth.
It would result in councillors representing hundreds more voters at the next local elections in 2023. There are currently 34 wards with most of them returning two members. Council reports suggest the move could save about £78,000 a year.
The main aim of the review is to rebalance the local political map so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of citizens, while also reflecting the interests and identities of communities across New Forest.
The commission first mooted the changes last year at an initial public consultation, and having confirmed its recommendation has now invited more public comment.
It has suggested there should be 25 wards, divided into four three-councillor wards, 15 two-councillor wards and six single-councillor wards. All NFDC ward boundaries will change.
Boldre parish will remain entirely within Beaulieu, Boldre, East Boldre and Exbury and Lepe ward.
The commission said it had received persuasive evidence arguing that splitting this parish would damage community ties in this area.
Launching the latest consultation commission chair Prof. Colin Mellors said: “We want people in New Forest to help us. We want to make sure these new electoral arrangements
reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.
“Residents and local organisations can help us do that. We would like them to let us know whether they agree with our proposals before we take final decisions.”
Comment via consultation.lgbce.org.uk/have-your-say/19558, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the commission by the 7th September deadline.