As Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government I have responsibility for the determination of electoral divisions and for the law relating to placenames. Section 63 of the Local Government Act 1994 provides that the Minister may by regulations divide the area of any county, city or town into areas to be known as electoral divisions and may vary the name of any such division or make adjustments to the boundaries of any such division or divisions.
Section 48 of the Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 provides for the substitution of Part 18 of the Local Government Act 2001 with a new Part revising and updating the procedures for the changing of placenames, including the name of a locality. The relevant provisions will be commenced as soon as the necessary regulations setting out procedures for the holding of a ballot and other related matters have been finalised. Pending commencement, the relevant statutory provisions are contained in section 79 of the Local Government Act 1946, as amended, under which a local authority can change the name of a locality with the consent of the majority of qualified electors.