The independent Boundary Committee for England has announced its initial recommendation on council size for Stoke-on-Trent. Following a consultation held over the summer, the Committee has decided that a council size of 45 will provide the basis for its next round of consultation, which starts today.
The consultation, which will map out the number, boundaries and names of the electoral wards in the city, ends on 11 January 2010.
Max Caller, Chair of the Boundary Committee, said: “We want to make sure that the electoral arrangements for the council work best for all of Stoke’s residents. We’ve looked carefully at all the evidence and rationale we received in support of various council sizes: so far, it points towards a council of 45 members. “
“We’re now starting the second round of consultation in this review, and we’re asking people to submit evidence-based proposals for new ward boundaries within Stoke-on-Trent to us. This stage of the consultation is designed to help us draw the map of what the council wards will look like. We need help from local people to do that, so we want to know what people think of as their community. We’ll consider carefully all evidence that is provided during the next stage of the process. At this stage, none of our decisions are final.”
Further information on electoral reviews and guidance on what sort of information the Committee is looking for should be available at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, in your local library, or on the Boundary Committee’s website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk and click on ‘about electoral reviews’.
The review is likely to conclude in autumn 2010 when the Boundary Committee makes its final recommendations.
To have your say, please write to:
The Review Officer (Stoke-on-Trent)
The Boundary Committee for England
30 Great Peter Street
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gareth Nicholson on 020 7271 0638
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. The main aim of an electoral review is to provide for ‘electoral equality’. That means each councillor representing approximately the same number of electors. The Boundary Committee must also have regard to community identity and interests and providing effective and convenient local government.
3. The recommendations of the Stoke-on-Trent Governance Commission included the proposal that consideration should be given to the number of councillors representing Stoke-on-Trent. As part of those recommendations, it falls under the Boundary Committee’s remit to make recommendations on the number of councillors, and what area each councillor represents. The Electoral Commission has directed the Boundary Committee to undertake the review. The Commission decided that it was clearly in the interests of securing effective local government for the people of Stoke-on-Trent that a review should take place.
4. The City Council currently elects one third of the council, every year for three years. Every ward in the city has three councillors. However, the Government has decided to change this for Stoke to electing the whole council once every four years. This means that the Committee is not constrained to recommending three councillors for each ward.
5. Further guidance on responding to a Boundary Committee consultation is available on the website http://www.boundarycommittee.org.uk.