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Residents in South Gloucestershire are being asked for their views on new council electoral arrangements. The Boundary Committee for England today publishes its draft recommendations for proposed changes to provide a better electoral balance.
The public consultation period begins today and runs until 12 September 2005. The Committee will take into account all representations received by this date when it produces its final recommendations to submit to The Electoral Commission. The Committee may change some or all of the proposals, depending on the responses it receives during the consultation period. It is therefore important that members of the public let the Committee have their views, whether or not they agree with the draft recommendations.
Commenting on the proposals, the Committees Chair, Pamela Gordon, said: At present, the electoral arrangements across South Gloucestershire are significantly unbalanced. For example, the worst imbalances are in Siston ward, where each councillor represents 42% more electors than the council average, while the councillors for Bradley Stoke Sherbourne ward each represent 27% fewer electors than the council average.
The aim of our review is to ensure that, as far as possible within each borough, each persons vote should have the same value as anothers, without disrupting community identities. We are consulting until 12 September 2005 and I hope that all those affected by our proposals will tell us what they think about them.
The Committee is recommending that the council size should remain unchanged at 70 councillors, representing 32 wards, a decrease of three. The Boundary Committee can also propose new electoral arrangements for parishes and has also recommended modifications to council size or wards in 10 parish councils.
Copies of the report are available from the Committees website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk, and will be available for reference at council offices and in public libraries.
Anyone wishing to make representations to the Committee on its draft recommendations should do so in writing no later than 12 September 2005 to: Review Manager (South Gloucestershire), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW. All representations will be available for inspection (including the names and addresses of respondents unless otherwise specified), by appointment, at the Committees offices and copies will be available at the offices of the relevant local authority. Copies of all representations will also be available to be viewed on the Committees website. A list of respondents is also available on request from the Committee.
Maxine Hoeksma on 020 7271 0531 or Gemma Crosland on 020 7271 0527
Out of office hours 07789 920 414, Fax: 020 7271 0528
Notes to editors:
1. PDFs of maps are available on The Boundary Committees website www.boundarycommittee.org.uk. For copyright permission, contact Ordnance Surveys help line on 023 8030 5092.
2. The present review of South Gloucestershire began on 3 August 2004.
3. The Boundary Committee for England is a statutory committee of The Electoral Commission.