Who we are
The Speaker of the House of Commons is the Chairman of each of the four Parliamentary Boundary Commissions. This is an ex officio appointment, and – being an MP themselves – the Speaker generally plays no part in the substantive work of the Commission.
Three other members
- The Deputy Chair, who presides over the Commission’s meetings, is the Hon Mr Justice (Peter) Lane. Sir Peter was educated at state schools in Worcester, before studying law at Oxford and Berkeley, California. After five years in the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, he became a solicitor and parliamentary agent in Westminster, drafting and promoting legislation on a wide range of subjects; in particular, infrastructure projects. His clients included public transport operators, local authorities and universities. In 2001, he was appointed as a salaried immigration adjudicator, in time becoming a judge of the Upper Tribunal. In 2014, he became President of the General Regulatory Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal, which decides appeals from a wide range of statutory regulators. He was appointed a deputy High Court judge in 2016 and, in 2017, a High Court judge in the Queen’s Bench Division. Since October 2017, he has also been President of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. He was appointed as Deputy Chair of the BCE for a three-year term from 23 June 2020.
- Colin Byrne. Colin worked for over 30 years in the Civil Service in a number of roles. These included Divisional Manager, Health and Safety Executive; Director, Town and Country Planning, Department of Communities and Local Government; and Director, Government Office for the South East. He was the Lead Assistant Commissioner for the South East of England in the BCE’s 2018 Review. He was a governor of the Guildford College Group for eight years, and a trustee of Citizens Advice Guildford. He was appointed a Commissioner of the BCE for a five-year term from 1 July 2019.
- Sarah Hamilton. Sarah graduated from Exeter University with a BA(Hons) in Law in 1992. She was admitted as a Solicitor in 1995 and enjoyed a 20-year career in a City law firm, specialising in litigation, acting for public sector bodies. Retiring from private practice in 2016, Sarah now has a portfolio career in the fields of healthcare, education and regulation. She chairs Fitness to Practise Committees for two healthcare regulators, and is a lay member for a third. She is an Inspector for University Programmes for Dental Schools and Social Work England. She is an Independent Panel Member for the London Assembly. Sarah worked as the Lead Assistant Commissioner for the East of England in the BCE’s 2018 Review. She was appointed a Commissioner of the BCE for a five-year term from 1 July 2019. She is married with two children.
Two assessors (available to provide technical advice and support as requested)
- The Registrar General for England and Wales.
- The Director General of Ordnance Survey.
Secretary to the Commission
• Tim Bowden. Tim was appointed in 2020 to lead the Secretariat in administering the 2023 review and generally supporting the Commissioners in their work. Tim was the BCE’s Head of Reviews during the 2018 Review, and, prior to that, led multiple local government boundary reviews as a Review Manager at the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.
• Appointed by the Secretary of State, at the request of the Commission, to assist it in the discharge of its functions. The Commission requests the appointment of independent Assistant Commissioners to: chair the public hearings; work with the Secretariat in analysing the responses to consultations; and – based on that analysis – make recommendations to Commissioners as to what might be appropriate revisions to the Commission’s earlier proposals for an area. They are specifically not involved in the development of initial proposals, so that they have no vested interest in retaining them when considering the strength of alternative proposals.Back to top