The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across East Sussex to comment on its draft proposals for new local government boundaries across the county.
The Commission has drawn up recommendations for new electoral division boundaries for every county council seat as well as new ward boundaries for every councillor elected to East Sussex’s five district and borough councils.
The proposals affect voters for East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council.
The thirteen-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 16 June 2016.
The Commission’s draft recommendations also propose that East Sussex County Council should have 50 councillors in the future, one more than the current arrangements. For East Sussex’s district and borough councils, the recommendations propose that Wealden District Council should have 45 councillors in future, ten fewer than the current arrangements. For all the other councils in East Sussex – Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes and Rother – the Commission proposes to retain the current number of district councillors.
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.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards and electoral divisions across East Sussex and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“The recommendations will affect the seats to which every single county, borough and district councillor is elected across East Sussex.
“Over the next thirteen 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 electors so that everyone’s vote in local 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 East Sussex and that the pattern of wards or divisions 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 entire county or just part of it.
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for all six East Sussex councils. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 16 June:
The Review Officer (East Sussex)
14th floor, Millbank Tower
London SW1P 4QP
Follow us on Twitter @LGBCE
Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal:
East Sussex County Council: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/6010
Eastbourne Borough Council: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/6014
Hastings Borough Council: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/6012
Lewes District Council: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/6013
Rother District Council: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/6015
Wealden District Council: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/6011
Link to the dedicated web page for the East Sussex electoral reviews:
For further information contact:
Press Office: 0330 500 1250 / 1525
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 East Sussex County Council and its five constituent districts to provide for ‘electoral equality’; that means each county and district councillor representing approximately the same number of electors. The Commission must also have regard to community identity and interests and providing effective and convenient local government.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
a. Do the proposed wards and electoral divisions 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 and divisions right?
4. Residents have from 15 March until 16 June 2016 to have their say about where ward and division boundaries should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in September 2016. 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 boundaries will come into effect at the next local elections, namely in 2017 for East Sussex County Council; 2018 for Hastings Borough Council; and 2019 for Eastbourne Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council.