The Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales was established under the Local Government Act 1972 as a body corporate with the functions of carrying out reviews and making proposals for changes in local government areas in Wales. The body was renamed as the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales ('the Commission') by the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 (LGDWA 2013).
The Commission consists of a chairing member, a deputy chairing member and no more than three other members. The members are appointed by the Welsh Ministers. The Commission must employ a chief executive and may employ staff. It may also employ an expert to assist in the exercise of its functions, and an assistant commissioner to whom it may delegate functions. The Commission is funded by the Welsh Ministers.
Under LGDWA 2013, the Commission must monitor the areas and electoral arrangements relevant to local government in Wales for the purpose of considering whether it is appropriate to make or recommend changes. In pursuance of that duty the Commission must carry out reviews as are required under LGDWA 2013, under any other enactment or as it otherwise considers appropriate. The Welsh Ministers may also direct the Commission to carry out a review.
A reference to the electoral arrangements of a principal area is a reference to:
- the number of members of the council for the principal area;
- the number, type and boundaries of the electoral wards into which the principal area is for the time being divided for the purpose of the election of members;
- the number of members to be elected for each electoral ward in the principal area; and
- the name of each electoral ward.
The Commission may also conduct a review of principal area boundaries, community boundaries, preserved counties (areas used for ceremonial purposes of lieutenancy and shrievalty) and seaward boundaries. In addition, the Welsh Ministers may direct the Commission to conduct a review of the membership of one or more specified qualifying public bodies.