On 26 February 2008, the Boundary Committee for England began the first round of public consultation in a review of local government electoral arrangements for West Sussex County Council.
The main aim of an electoral review is to provide for ‘electoral equality’. That means all county councillors across West Sussex representing approximately the same number of electors.
The County Council requested an electoral review as it is looking to move to an entire pattern of single-member divisions in the area covered by the County Council. This means that each electoral area would be represented by just one county councillor. At the present time, although most county divisions are represented by just one councillor, there are some areas of the county where this is not the case. Although the Boundary Committee will look to recommend single-member divisions across the county, it cannot guarantee that this will be the result, as it also must take account of other issues.
The Boundary Committee will look at the number of councillors to be elected to the County Council and also the boundaries of the individual areas they will represent. The review includes two rounds of public consultation. The first began on 26 February 2008 and lasts for eight weeks, ending on 21 April 2008. The Committee is consulting locally and is looking for proposals on what changes there should be to the existing pattern of county division boundaries.
The review does not affect the electoral arrangements of any of the district or borough councils in West Sussex.
Anyone wishing to submit their views at this stage should let the Boundary Committee know what they think and why. The Committee needs as much clear and well-argued evidence as possible in order to develop draft recommendations for West Sussex County Council.
Max Caller, chair of the Boundary Committee, said: “In this review, we will take a number of factors into account including local community identities and we will look where possible to propose single-member divisions, although this may not always be possible. We want local people to let us know how particular boundaries may impact on communities and we encourage anyone who is interested in West Sussex County Council, from local government to community groups and residents, to submit evidence-based proposals to the Committee.”
A second stage of public consultation will begin in the summer when people can respond to the Committee’s draft recommendations.
The review is likely to conclude in autumn 2008 when the Boundary Committee makes its final recommendations to the Electoral Commission.
If you would like to make a submission to the Boundary Committee, please write to:The Electoral Review of West Sussex The Boundary Committee Trevelyan House 30 Great Peter Street London SW1P 2HW
Sarah Garrett on 020 7271 0704
outside office hours: 07789 920414
1. The Boundary Committee for England is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, e.g. defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, and for conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structure.
2. Further guidance on responding to a Boundary Committee consultation is available on the website www.boundarycommittee.org.uk