Stoke residents asked for views on ward boundary recommendations
26th March 2010
The independent Boundary Committee for England is asking people in Stoke-on-Trent to comment on proposed new local electoral arrangements for Stoke-on-Trent City Council. A public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 11 June 2010.
The Committee’s review will decide how many councillors should sit on the Council and will also establish new boundaries for its wards. The Committee’s draft recommendations, published today, include maps of the proposed new wards that each councillor would represent. The recommendations should be available at council buildings and libraries, or online at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk
The Committee has published for consultation draft recommendations for a council size of 44, one fewer than its original proposal as published in October 2009. The Committee believes that 44 councillors provides for the best basis for electoral equality and effective and convenient local government for Stoke. In reaching this decision, the Committee has considered the evidence provided by residents and organisations in Stoke in the previous consultation phase, and has made a detailed examination of the area and distribution of electors.
The Committee has published for consultation draft recommendations for boundaries for 38 wards. The Committee proposes that, to ensure as far as possible that each councillor in Stoke-on-Trent represents around the same number of people, there should be 33 wards which would be represented by one councillor (called single-member wards) and five multi-member wards, as described below:
- Birches Head & Central Forest Park – 2 councillors
- Hanford & Trentham – 2 councillors
- Bentilee & Ubberley – 2 councillors
- Abbey Hulton – 2 councillors
- Baddeley, Milton & Norton – 3 councillors
The Committee has set out for consultation proposed names for each ward.
Max Caller, Chair of the Boundary Committee, said: “Having fair electoral boundaries for your council is important. Our reviews aim at ensuring electoral equality, meaning that each councillor should represent a similar number of people.”
“The information that people and organisations in Stoke-on-Trent sent us in our consultation last year has informed our draft recommendations. We now want people to tell us what they feel the impact of the recommendations will be on their community, whether they think the recommendations can be improved and, if so, how.”
Your ward should be a realistic reflection of your community area. We want people to tell us whether the boundaries we’ve drawn make sense. Rivers, roads and railways make effective boundaries but it’s not always that clear cut. We’re also interested in views on our proposed ward names. For convenience, they shouldn’t be too long, but they should reflect the area of the ward and they should mean something to the people who live there.”
“This is something that we really want residents to get involved in, and it doesn’t have to be a dull, paper-based exercise. Video evidence or using freely-available mapping applications could help you to make your point.”
The Committee wants to hear as much clear and well-argued evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for the Stoke-on-Trent City Council area. If you would like to make a submission to the Boundary Committee, please write by 11 June 2010 to:
The Boundary Committee for England (Stoke-on-Trent review)
30 Great Peter Street
London SW1P 2HW
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact:
The Communications Manager at email@example.com
Notes to editors:
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.
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.
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.
The City Council currently elects one third of the council, every year for three years. Every ward in the city has three councillors. 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.
Earlier in the review, the Boundary Committee indicated that it was minded to recommend that Stoke-on-Trent should have 45 councillors. However, the Committee has now concluded that 44 councillors provides a better allocation of councillors across the City, ensuring that each area is more equally represented.
Further guidance on responding to a Boundary Committee consultation is available on the website http://www.lgbce.org.uk.
The Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 provides for the separation of the Boundary Committee for England from the Electoral Commission and its establishment as a separate body, to be called the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE). The LGBCE will take forward work on all ongoing Boundary Committee electoral reviews from its vesting day on 1 April 2010.
A table of proposed new electoral wards for Stoke-on-Trent can be found here.
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