Section 10: Boundary Commissions: Reports etc
45.Section 10 amends sections 3 and 4 of the 1986 Act, altering the frequency and timing of reviews of the parliamentary constituencies. Subsection (3) amends section 3 of the 1986 Act so as to require the Boundary Commissions to submit boundary reports to the Minister before 1 October 2013 and every five years subsequently. This replaces a requirement to report every 8 to 12 years. Subsection (4) amends section 3 of the 1986 Act so as to require the Boundary Commissions to submit progress reports to the Speaker of the House of Commons while a report is pending. Subsection (5) removes the ability for Boundary Commissions to produce interim reports in relation to particular areas between general reviews. Because reviews will be more frequent, subsection (5) takes away the power of Boundary Commissions to submit reports on individual constituencies. Subsection (6) amends section 3 of the 1986 Act so as to require the Minister to lay before Parliament a draft of an Order in Council for giving effect to the recommendations in the boundary reports as soon as may be after the submission of the last of the four reports, rather than, as now, as each report is submitted.
46.If a Boundary Commission notifies the Minister that their recommendations are to have effect with modifications, and gives reasons for the modifications, the Order in Council must give effect to the recommendations with those modifications rather than, as now, the Secretary of State having a power to modify recommendations when giving effect to them. Subsection (9) adds the Chief Survey Officer of Land and Property Services as an assessor to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland, amending paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 to the 1986 Act. Subsection (10) broadens the scope of the functions of Assistant Commissioners from inquiring into and reporting on matters at the request of the Boundary Commissions to assisting the Commissions in carrying out any of their functions. This would increase the flexibility the Boundary Commissions have in what they might ask the Assistant Commissioners to do.