Closure of 2013 Review
As a result of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 receiving Royal Assent on 31 January 2013, the date of the next boundary review has been postponed until 2018. The Boundary Commission for England has therefore ceased working on the 2013 Review and will no longer be reporting to the Secretary of State in autumn 2013. Both the Commission and the Secretariat would like to thank all of those who contributed to the 2013 Review and whose valuable submissions contributed so greatly to our task.
Why has work on the 2013 Review ended now before submission of the final report?
In January 2013, Parliament voted to end work on the 2013 Review, postponing the report of a first Review under the new statutory rules until 2018. The reasons for this decision were set out during the debates on the relevant amendment to the (then) Electoral Registration and Administration Bill. Those debates can be read in the Official Record on the Parliament website (www.parliament.uk), the relevant dates being 14 January 2013 for the House of Lords and 29 January 2013 for the House of Commons.
How much has been spent on the 2013 Review?
As at the end of December 2012, the 2013 Review had cost the Boundary Commission for England £4.7 million. This contrasts with the £6.2 million that had originally been budgeted for the cost of the Review in England over the same time period and the £7.5 million that had been allocated for the entire life of the review.
Will the views I have submitted during this Review be taken into account in the next Review?
No. The next review will be based on new, initial, proposals and you will be invited to comment on these.
Will the representations submitted during this Review be available to the public, even though work on this Review has ended?
Yes. The representations from the initial and secondary consultation periods have already been published, and those from the revised consultation period will be made available in due course.
Can’t you just hold onto the final report you are already working on and submit it in five years time?
No. The Act of Parliament that governs the conduct of a Parliamentary Boundary Review requires the electoral register data used in it to be that in force two years and ten months before the date by which the final report of the Review is required to be submitted. The 2013 Review has therefore been conducted on the basis of electoral registers as at 1 December 2010, but the next Review – required to report by 1 October 2018 – will need to use electoral register data as at 1 December 2015.
Will the Commission be undertaking any reviews to realign ward and constituency boundaries before the next General Election?
No. The Commission does not have the power to undertake any such reviews, outside of a general review of all parliamentary constituency boundaries. There will, therefore, be no changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries before the next General Election in May 2015.