Background
Background

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: The Atrium, The Copeland Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven. CA28 7SJ

Contact: Clive Willoughby  Tel: 07385 362806

Items
No. Item

ELEC 21/1

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Jeffrey Hailes.

ELEC 21/2

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No Declarations of Interest were made.

 

ELEC 21/3

Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 378 KB

Minutes:

Councillors reviewed the minutes of the previous Electoral Review Panel.

 

Councillor Jeanette Forster asked for the minutes to be amended to show her apologies.

 

The Chair asked for an update regarding the investigation into using a Mobile Polling Station for Whitehaven, Harras Ward. The Electoral and Democratic Services Manager noted that an investigation had been undertaken and it was concluded that there was no suitable location for the Mobile Polling Station and that the cost of hiring one was significant. Also, for the most recent election (Police and Crime Commissioner (PPC)) a Mobile Polling Station was not used as it was not deemed suitable with Covid regulations in effect.

 

RESOLVED: - That the minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2019 be signed by the Chair as a correct record subject to the amendment of updating Councillor Forster’s apologies.

ELEC 21/4

Parliamentary Boundary Review 2023 pdf icon PDF 367 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Electoral and Democratic Services Manager presented the report to members and asked them to consider the proposals and form a response to be agreed by Council on 28 July and submitted to the Boundary Commission by 2 August 2021.

 

Councillor Meteer highlighted the Boundary Commission’s website advert that invites members of the public to participate in the review. He then commented on the proposed changes, calling them ridiculous, believing that adding Windermere and the Central Lakes doesn’t make sense. Councillor Meteer then proposed using the 2016 Boundary Review response as a base for the current response to the Boundary Commission. Commenting that there had been exceptions made for two areas that did not fit the population criteria, so there may be a chance for an allowance to be made should the revision not meet the requirements. He also highlighted that population numbers tend to fluctuate.

 

Councillor Hugh Branney commented that Councillor Meteer had brought forward a solution before there had been a discussion. He then went on to note that the proposals had a lot of disadvantages and not many advantages. While happy with the inclusion of Copeland into the new name, noting its historical significance with the forest of Copeland which had been in the Wasdale area, he was not happy with the second half of the name being “Western Lakes”, as the western lakes are currently already part of Copeland. The new boundaries would include the east and central lakes. Councillor Branney then went on to highlight some of the major issues that he had with the Boundary Commissions proposal. The main issue he had was in regards to the cultural differences between the east and west parts of the proposed constituency. The west has a legacy of heavy industry, while the east had a focus on tourism, leisure and hospitality. He also highlighted the lack on mention of transport links and connectivity within the proposal, noting that the current travel times from one side to the other of the proposed boundary is over an hour on poorly maintained roads. Councillor Branney also commented that the east of the Boundary Commission proposal have a different view of Nuclear compared to the west, which may have a negative impact on the industry.

 

The Electoral and Democratic Services Manager noted that the figures used within the report are the electoral figures rather than population figures, as the change in electoral figures have a minimal change compared to population figures. The Manager also noted that the response to the 2016 Boundary Review was to agree with all of the proposal bar the name, which was “West Cumbria”. Councillor Meteer agreed that the 2016 proposal was the better option and that to move forward, the group should ignore the numbers and focus instead on the area, culture and what makes sense geographically.

 

The chair agreed that the Boundary Commission hadn’t taken into account the connectivity or the difficulties of merging the cultures of East and West. She also highlighted the potential  ...  view the full minutes text for item ELEC 21/4

 

Original text