The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) begins the second part of its consultation on electoral arrangements for Staffordshire today.
Following the completion of its initial consultation earlier this month, the Commission is proposing that the county council should have 62 councillors. The LGBCE now needs information from people and groups across Staffordshire to help it to map out a new pattern of divisions for the county.
Max Caller, Chair of the LGBCE, said: “We are asking for information and evidence from people across Staffordshire that will help us understand where the new electoral division boundaries should be drawn. We will be looking for evidence of strong community ties and areas that should be included together in the same divisions. We’ll also be looking at the natural boundaries between communities.
“First and foremost, we want to ensure that the pattern of divisions means that everyone’s vote in Staffordshire is of roughly equal value regardless of where they live. Our other major consideration is to ensure that divisions genuinely reflect local communities.
“Your views will make a difference. After all, local people know Staffordshire best. We encourage anyone who is interested in what the new divisions should look like to submit evidence-based proposals to the Commission.
“We will carefully consider all the evidence that is provided to us during the consultation, whoever it is from and whether if it applies to the whole county or just a small part of it.
“We will also publish all the submissions we receive so local people can see all the various proposals we receive. Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations at the end of May 2011.”
This stage of consultation will last until 21 February 2011. Further information on electoral reviews and guidance on what sort of information the Commission is looking for is available on the LGBCE website at www.lgbce.org.uk .ends
Notes to editors:
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, as well as conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structures.
2. The LGBCE is conducting the electoral review of Staffordshire as the county currently has significant electoral imbalances. Keele and Westlands division,for example, has 20% more electors per councillor than the average for Staffordshire, whereas Uttoxeter Rural has 22% fewer. This means that the value of your vote varies to a large extent depending on where you live in Staffordshire.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
4. Residents have from 30 November 2010 to 21 February 2011 to have their say about where division boundaries for Staffordshire should be drawn. The LGBCE will then publish its draft recommendations in the May 2011 and open a further phase of consultation. New divisions are scheduled to come into effect at the 2013 local elections.
5. The LGBCE’s decision on council size means it is ‘minded’ to recommend 62 councillors for Staffordshire but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations.
6. Members of the public can have their say on the new division arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Staffordshire) Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
All submissions received by the LGBCE can be viewed on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk