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Extra Chance for Ashfield people to have their say on ward boundaries

1st July 2014

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has opened a new phase of public consultation in its review of Ashfield District Council's ward boundaries.

Local people have until 26 August 2014 to have their say.

Earlier this year, the Commission held a public consultation on new ward boundaries across the district. Residents now have another opportunity to have their say on new recommendations published by the Commission today.

The aim of the review is to ensure that each councillor represents a similar number of voters so that the value of your vote, in local elections, is the same regardless of where you live in Ashfield. The Commission also aims to draw local ward boundaries that reflect the interests and identities of communities across the district. 

The Commission listened to the views put to it during consultation and now proposes to make substantial changes to the plans it put forward earlier this year. Due to the significance of the proposed changes, the Commission is re-opening its consultation with local people to see what they think of the recommendations.

Max Caller CBE, Chair of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England said: "We listened carefully to all the views put to us earlier this year and have made a series of changes to the original recommendations. We are now asking local people to have their say on the revised proposals.

"There were some strong arguments made to us by local people that alternative wards would better reflect community interests and identities as well as delivering electoral equality for Ashfield voters. That is why we are now putting new recommendations forward for consultation.

"We are asking local people to log on to our website to tell us what they think about these proposals before we publish final recommendations in November."

Residents can view – and comment on - the proposals and interactive maps by logging on to www.lgbce.org.uk.

Submissions can also be made in writing to:

The Review Officer (Ashfield)

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

Layden House

76-86 Turnmill Street

London

EC1M 5LG

Or email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

For further information contact: Press Office: 020 7664 8530/8534 or email press@lgbce.org.uk

Ends

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 a review of Ashfield district to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. The district currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer, voters than other members of the council. For example, Sutton-In-Ashfield East ward contains 11% more electors than the average for district but Underwood ward contains 14% fewer. The situation means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in Ashfield district.

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 1 July 2014 until 26 August 2014 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Ashfield district should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in November 2014. 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 2015.