Fringe Box



Residents’ Views Sought on ‘Finely Balanced’ SCC Boundary Change Proposals

Published on: 10 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 10 Aug, 2023

Proposed SCC division boundary changes. Click on image to enlarge.

By Chris Caulfield local democracy reporter

and Martin Giles

People across Surrey could be ‘moving’ – and not even realise it.

The Boundary Commission is looking at redrawing the political map of the county to ensure councillors “represent the same number of electors”.

If their plans, which are currently out for public consultation, go ahead it could mean significant changes within several parts of the county.

The boroughs of Guildford and Reigate and Banstead would have the greatest representation at Surrey County Council with 10 elected members each, while Epsom and Ewell would have the fewest, with five.

Guildford borough would continue to be allocated its 10 county councillors, even though each
councillor would represent, on average, four per cent more electors than the county average.

The review is being carried out as the commission is obligated to look at the electoral arrangements of every council in England “from time to time”, and it last looked at Surrey in 2012.

The SCC boundary review follows recent reviews of the borough council’s ward boundaries, which came into effect in the May election and the Parliamentary constituency boundaries which have been agreed, and will be used at the next general election.

The commission says its preferred new SCC boundary layout – which would retain the 81 elected councillors we have today – would help the council to carry out its functions more effectively as it would even out the populations within each division.

To achieve this, the boundaries of most wards would change with 24 staying as they are.

The consultation started on August 8 and runs through to October 16.

Proposed changes for the Guildford divisions

Proposed new boundaries for the Guildford county council divisions

Ash and Worplesdon

The commission’s report says that the parish of Ash is too large to be contained within a single
division; it would have 25 per cent more electors than average. It is proposed to include some of the southern part of Ash within the Worplesdon division. Wanborough parish would be included in the large Shalford division which would stretch northwards over the Hog’s Back.

But it is recognised that the changes the boundary commission proposes for this area are based on particularly finely balanced decisions and further views are encouraged.

Guildford East, Guildford North, Guildford South East, Guildford South West and
Guildford West

It is proposed that the entire Rydeshill area would be included in the Guildford West division, with the boundary running behind Bramble Close and Dorrit Crescent.

The boundary with Guildford South West division would run along the A3 Midleton Road, to the south of the University of Surrey campus, and south along the A320 before following the existing boundary. This division is forecast to have 11 per cent more electors than average but a solution to reduce this variance could not be identified that would respect community identities.

The boundary between Guildford East and Guildford South East divisions would be changed to place the Abbotswood area in the Guildford East division, allowing all of Burpham ward to be within a single division.

Horsleys and Shere

Only one significant change is proposed in these divisions, the movement of the settlement of Chilworth from Shere into the Shalford division.

The commission’s report said: “We considered improving the electoral equality of both divisions in this area by moving East Clandon parish into Shere division. We would welcome further evidence as to whether community links between East Clandon and West Clandon exist
beyond the names of these parishes, or whether the existing arrangement reflects the communities in this area.”

Table showing the variance in each division with the average number of voters per division in Surrey.

County Councillors per borough or district

  • Elmbridge 9
  • Epsom & Ewell 5
  • Guildford 10
  • Mole Valley 6
  • Reigate & Banstead 10
  • Runnymede 6
  • Spelthorne 7
  • Surrey Heath 6
  • Tandridge 6
  • Waverley 9
  • Woking 7

Launching the consultation commission chairperson Professor Colin Mellors, said: “We want people in Surrey to help us.

“We have drawn up proposals for new divisions in Surrey.

“We want to make sure these new electoral arrangements reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.

“Residents and local organisations can help us do that. We would like them to let us know whether they agree with our proposals before we take final decisions.

“It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website. Or you can email or write to us.

“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved”

To view the proposals in full and comment on the names of divisions or their boundaries visit 

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