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Bristol residents: have your say on new council ward boundaries

9th December 2014

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across Bristol to comment on its draft proposals for new council ward boundaries.

A ten-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 16 February 2015. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the city.

The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Bristol City Council should have 70 city councillors in the future, the same as the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent four single-member wards, 27 two-member wards and four three-member wards across the city.

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings and libraries.

Max Caller CBE, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Bristol and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.

“Over the next ten weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.

“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.

“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across the city and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.

“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole city or just part of it.

The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Bristol City Council. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 16 February 2015:

The Review Officer (Bristol)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5LG

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter @LGBCE

Have your say through the Commission’s consultation portal: www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk

Link to the dedicated web page for the Bristol electoral review:

www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-west/bristol/bristol

For further information contact:

Press Office: 020 7664 8530/8534

press@lgbce.org.uk

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Notes to editors:

1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England 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 Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Bristol City Council following a request from the Mayor of Bristol for a review to improve electoral equality for local voters as well as considering the total number of councillors elected to the council in future. Bristol City Council also currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent many more, or many fewer, voters than other elected members in the city. The electoral review will re-draw ward boundaries so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters; that boundaries reflect the identities of local communities; as well as helping the council to deliver effective local government to citizens.

3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:

a. Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?

b. How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?

c. Are the names of the proposed wards right?

4. Residents have from 9 December 2014 to 16 February 2015 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Bristol should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in May 2015. Once the Commission agrees its final recommendations it will lay a draft order in both Houses of Parliament. Parliament will then have 40 days in which to consider the recommendations. If both Houses are satisfied with the recommendations, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the council elections in May 2016.