Electoral review of Cornwall Council 2016-18

Revised timetable for the review

On 2nd May 2018, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England announced a delay in their publication of draft recommendations for Cornwall. 

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As a result of this delay, the timetable for the remainder of the review has changed:

Council size decision by LGBCE announced 26 September 2017
Consultation on division boundaries 26 September 2017 to 19 February 2018
Draft recommendations published by LGBCE 5 June 2018
Consultation on draft recommendations 5 June 2018 to 17 September 2018
Final recommendations published by LGBCE December 2018


The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is conducting an electoral review of Cornwall Council.

This is the first electoral review to take place in Cornwall since the creation of the unitary council in 2009.  Any changes will not come into effect until the 2021 Cornwall Council elections.

The Commission published detailed technical guidance for those who wished to participate in the review.

The LGBCE visited Cornwall on 30 March 2016. They gave presentations on the electoral review to Parish and Cornwall Councillors. The following documents are available to download: 

In May 2016, Cornwall Council published a briefing pack. This contains more information about the review process. 

The electoral review will examine Cornwall Council’s electoral arrangements and cover the following areas:

  • the total number of members to be elected to the Council;
  • the number and boundaries of future electoral divisions;
  • the number of councillors representing each electoral division; and
  • the name of each electoral division.

A principal aim of the review is to deliver electoral equality across the local authority. IT aims to do this by ensuring that all councillors represent a similar number of voters.

The LGBCE is required by law to be impartial, with its decisions based on evidence and reason.  The representations of all those taking part in the review are treated equally and without bias.

There are no pre-conceived views on the future number of councillors for Cornwall Council.  The LGBCE will consider proposals for an increase, a decrease, or retention of the existing number of councillors.

The Council has set up an Electoral Review Panel of Councillors from all of the Council’s political groups. The Panel is Chaired by Councillor Malcolm Brown. The full Membership of the Panel along with the Panel’s meeting papers can be found on this website. This Panel is being supported by an Officer Group.

In October 2016, Cornwall Council sent its first submission on Council size to the LGBCE. The submission contained the following documents:

On 3 March 2017, the Council made its submission to meet the Commission’s deadline for final submissions on Council size. The Council's final submission on Council size is available on the Commission's website.

On 13 May 2017, the LGBCE released a statement proposing that Cornwall Council should have 87 councillors in future.

The statement also invited the public to submit local views on the proposed council size. This was during a public consultation period which ended on 7 August 2017. The LGBCE wanted the public to respond to these questions:

  1. Do you think 87 is the right number of councillors to be able to take decisions effectively?
  2. Would a council size of 87 enable the Council to represent the interests of all Cornwall’s communities?
  3. If you don’t agree that Cornwall should be represented by 87 councillors, what would your alternative number be, and why?

This consultation on council size closed at midnight on 7 August 2017.

On 7 August 2017 the Council submitted its response to the above LGBCE consultation on council size. The Council confirmed its previous submission for the number of councillors to be 99. It also highlighted the view of a large majority of local councils that the future council size for Cornwall should be not less than 99.

The Council has made available forecasts of the electorate by polling district, parish and Community Network Area. They also included links to mapping to help understand that information. The information and mapping are available via the Electorate forecast information tab on the left of this page.

Future Council size for Cornwall announced

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) have confirmed their decision that the Council size for Cornwall from 2021 will be 87 Councillors. This is a reduction of 36 from the current 123. The Commission’s rationale for their decision is set out in their letter to the Council’s Chief Executive. It is also shown in their media statement.

The announcement on Council size marks the beginning of the first consultation period on the redrawing of the Council’s electoral divisions. This should be ready for the unitary elections in 2021.  

The Council is keen for as many people as possible to respond to the Commission’s consultation. You can do that through the options set out in the Commission’s media statement. The Council will be making available such information as it can to facilitate participation in the consultation. It will not however be collating responses for submission to the Commission.

Help us develop division patterns for the future Council size

Now the LGBCE has decided the Council will have 87 Councillors from the May 2021 elections, we need to respond to their consultation on future division patterns. 

We want to know what you think good boundaries would be and how community identity can be reflected best.   

If you want to make your own response to the LGBCE consultation you need to do that direct through the methods detailed on their website.  See ‘Have your say’ at the bottom of the Commission's web page dedicated to the Cornwall review

We’re keen to know your views to so even if you make a submission to the Commission can you please also tell us what you think at electoralreview2018@cornwall.gov.uk.

The consultation period closed on 19 February 2018. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published details on their website of the submissions received from Cornwall Council and others.

The electoral review is running in parallel with a governance review of Cornwall Council. This is looking at whether the arrangements we have in place for decision-making on the services we provide are the right ones needed for the future.

The governance review page provides more information on the governance review. This includes how it relates to the electoral review. It also has an overview of the terms of reference and key tasks of the bodies involved in the reviews. The findings of the governance review will be used to inform the Council’s submissions to the LGBCE. These will be on the number of Councillors Cornwall Council should have from 2021.

The governance review page includes details of events that were held. These were held to hear the views of residents, businesses, partners and other stakeholders’. These views were about their preferences for how decisions about public services are made in Cornwall in the future. The dates were:

  • 11 July: Heartlands, Pool
  • 12 July: Wadebridge, Royal Cornwall Show Pavilion
  • 13 July: Liskeard, Eliot House Hotel
  • 14 July: St Austell, Cornwall College Keay Theatre
  • 18 July: Truro College Fal Theatre
  • 19 July: Penzance, Acorn Theatre
  • 20 July: Launceston, Town Hall

Cornwall Council issued an update on both reviews. Please see the presentation to an open meeting of Cornwall Association of Local Councils (CALC). This was presented on 6 October 2016.

The LGBCE has limited powers to make recommendations about the electoral arrangements of city, parish and town councils that might be directly affected by changes to electoral division boundaries in Cornwall.  

This could include recommendations for:

  • the need for parish wards;
  • the number and boundaries of any parish wards;
  • the number of councillors to be elected from any parish ward; and
  • the name of any parish wards.

Any of the following can make representations to the LGBCE on both the size of Cornwall Council and the pattern of electoral divisions:

  • Cornwall Council
  • any city council
  • any parish council
  • any town council
  • any political party
  • any individual or
  • any organisation

The final decisions however will be made by the LGBCE. However, the LGBCE will encourage those mentioned above to give their views on the electoral arrangements they want for their local area.

Cornwall Council will also be engaging with and consulting those mentioned above. We will engage and consult on the size of the Council and the proposals for the patterns of the new electoral divisions.