Section 14 : Boundary Committees
57.Section 14 requires the Electoral Commission to establish four Boundary Committees, one for each part of the United Kingdom. These Boundary Committees will take on the functions of the Parliamentary and Local Government Boundary Commissions transferred to them under the provisions of sections 16 and 18 to 20. Each Boundary Committee will be chaired by an Electoral Commissioner and include at least two other members who must be either Electoral Commissioners or Deputy Electoral Commissioners (appointed under the provisions of section 15). The minimum membership of three for each Boundary Committee reflects the size of the Parliamentary Boundary Commissions (paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 provides for the appointment of four Commissioners, but the Chairman in each case, the Speaker of the House of Commons, does not take part in the Commissions’ deliberations). Where the functions of a Local Government Boundary Commission are transferred to a Boundary Committee, the minimum membership of that committee will be increased to five (the Local Government Commission for England currently has a membership of seven). Subsection (6) provides for the appointment of assessors to the Boundary Commissions who will provide expert advice on population changes and on mapping. The subsection mirrors the equivalent provision in respect of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission contained in paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (Schedule 22 to the Act provides for the repeal of this provision).