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Cornwall warned new wards face postponement

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Cornwall has been told it is unlikely new ward boundaries can be implemented in time for its unitary council’s first election next May.

The Boundary Committee for England, which is overseeing the council’s creation, has written to the Cornwall implementation executive (CIE) warning it needs to extend a consultation on how many members the council has by six weeks.

The committee’s director, Archie Gall, wrote: “The need for further consultation now means it is very unlikely the Electoral Commission will be in a position to implement any Boundary Committee recommendations in time for elections in May 2009.”

He called for more evidence linked to submissions for 130- and 90-member councils, and said elections would proceed on the basis of the county’s existing 82 councillors if a new arrangement was delayed.

It is understood the majority of the CIE favours a 130-member authority while its chair David Whalley (Lib Dem) wants a 90-member council.

A Boundary Committee spokesperson said adequate information had been provided from four other councils under electoral evaluation.

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