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On 1 April 2002, The Electoral Commission took over the functions of the Local Government Commission for England (LGCE), which reviewed local authority electoral arrangements, including the number and boundaries of wards, and the number of councillors to be elected. A new Boundary Committee for England has been established within The Electoral Commission to assume this role, and the former LGCE staff have been transferred to The Electoral Commission.
The Boundary Committee will be chaired by Pamela Gordon, who is also an Electoral Commissioner and previously an LGCE Commissioner. Six Deputy Electoral Commissioners have been appointed to sit on the Boundary Committee. Three of the Deputy Commissioners are former Commissioners of the LGCE, and three were selected through open competition for their experience in local government, public and academic life.
Chairman of The Electoral Commission Sam Younger welcomed the new functions: 'The work of The Boundary Committee will broaden the expertise of The Electoral Commission, and the high standards of service and impartiality previously provided by the Local Government Commission for England will be maintained.'
1. Transfer of local boundary work in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to the Commission is a matter for the devolved authorities.
2. The Electoral Commission was established on 30 November 2000 by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act. It is independent of Government and aims to ensure openness and transparency in the financial affairs of Britain's political parties, and to increase public confidence and participation in the democratic process.
3. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 made provision for the transfer of functions and the order making this law was laid before Parliament on 10 December 2001. The Act also provides for reviews of parliamentary boundaries in the United Kingdom to be transfer to The Electoral Commission, but this is not expected to happen before 2005.
4. From 15 April, the address for The Boundary Committee will be Trevelyan House, 30 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
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