Local residents are being invited to give their views on what their council looks like, as the independent Boundary Committee for England begins an electoral review of West Somerset District Council today (27 October 2009)
The review will consider changes to the number of councillors on the council, and the number and boundaries of the council’s electoral wards.
Max Caller, Chair of the Boundary Committee, said: “Having fair electoral boundaries is important for local democracy.
“The purpose of a review is to try to ensure that each councillor represents around the same number of people and that every elector’s vote is worth the same. That’s not the case at the moment: Alcombe East ward has 40% fewer electors per councillor than the average for the council area, whereas Williton has 17% more."
“We’ll also be looking to take into account local community identities.This is your chance to shape your council for the future.”
The Committee’s consultation closes on 18 January 2010. Once it has considered the evidence provided by local people and organisations, the Committee will publish a set of draft recommendations showing what the proposed new ward boundaries will be. Those draft recommendations will then be subject to further public consultation next year. The review is likely to finish in autumn 2010.
Further information on electoral reviews and guidance on what sort of information the Committee is looking for should be available at council offices, in your local library, or on the Boundary Committee’s website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk
To have your say, please write to:
The Review Officer (West Somerset)
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. Further guidance on responding to a Boundary Committee consultation is available on the website http://www.boundarycommittee.org.uk.