Electoral Boundaries for Cornwall Council set to change
For the last few years, Cornwall Council has been undertaking a boundary review of its divisional area. Currently there are 123 elected councillors in 122 divisions. From 2021 this is set to change. Change is sometimes good and it is right to look at how people are represented and the boundaries to reflect a community. However, Cornwall has been so many boundary changes since 2009. You could almost say no one election has been fought on the same boundary lines.
This boundary review is in simple terms being inflicted upon Cornwall. It is not about how best Cornwall Council can represent the people, rather than the Boundary Commission coming up with a figure and telling the Council to make it work.
The council has spent a lot of time arriving at a figure (99 Councillors) that not only reduced numbers, but also brought equity to the number of electors per division. However that was dismissed by the Commission as still too high. Basically, the Boundary Commission want no more than 88. It would have just been simpler if the Commission had just said a figure at the outset, rather than the ruse of thinking the Council could have some say in the numbers.
With such wholesale boundary changes, electoral divisions such as Porthleven and Helston will see a massive change. With the plan for 87 Councillors, Porthleven will no longer have part of Helston within its division, but instead will be joined with Breage, Germoe and Praa Sands to form one division called Porthleven, Breage and Germoe.
As the following picture (11) shows the new boundary for the electoral division of Porthleven, Breage and Germoe
Helston will have two electoral division of Helston North (13)
and Helston South which will include Meneage (14)
As you can see, there is wholesale changes to the boundaries with settlements being put together that have limited connection apart from being geographically close.
No scheme is going to be universally supported and with any review there will be changes. but the problem with this is Cornwall has been given a number and the new divisions have been created on trying to achieve that number, rather on what communities want.
Even though Cornwall Council officially has supported the 87 number formed into the following divisional boundaries (HERE), the Boundary Commission can totally ignore – as it has on other submissions – and come up with its own figure and its own boundaries. And there is little anyone can do as the Commission answers to no-one.