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Extra chance to have say on division boundaries across Sevenoaks

29th September 2015

Extra chance to have say on division boundaries across Sevenoaks

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has opened a new phase of public consultation in its review of Kent County Council’s electoral division boundaries.

The consultation focuses on new proposals for county division boundaries in Sevenoaks district.

Local people have until 26 October 2015 to have their say on the proposals before the Commission finalises its recommendations for new electoral divisions for the whole county.

Earlier this year, the Commission held a public consultation on proposals for new division boundaries across Kent. The Commission has listened to the views put to it during consultation and now proposes to make changes to the plans to reflect local evidence. Due to the significance of the proposed changes in Sevenoaks, the Commission is re-opening its consultation with local people to see what they think of the new recommendations.

The consultation is limited to the Commission’s new proposals in Sevenoaks. Details of the recommendations, including maps of the proposals, are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk or at the dedicated review page for the electoral review of Kent at www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-east/kent/kent-county-council.

Professor Colin Mellors, Deputy Chair of the Commission, said: “We listened carefully to all the views put to us on new electoral division boundaries earlier this year and have made changes to the original recommendations. We are now asking local people to have their say on the revised proposals for Sevenoaks.

“There were some strong arguments made to us that an alternative pattern of divisions in Sevenoaks might better reflect local community interests and identities. That is why we are now putting these 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 for the whole county in January 2016.”

Residents can have their say in writing:

The Review Officer (Kent)

LGBCE

14th floor, Millbank Tower

London SW1P 4QP

Or email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

For further information contact:

Press Office: 0330 500 1250 / 1525

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 Kent County Council to provide for ‘electoral equality’; that means each county 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 electoral divisions in Sevenoaks reflect local communities?

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

c. Are the names of the proposed divisions right?

4. Residents have from 29 September until 26 October 2015 to have their say about where division boundaries in Sevenoaks should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in January 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 divisions will come into effect at the county council elections in 2017.

5. The Commission is satisfied that it has received sufficient evidence to finalise new electoral division boundaries for the rest of Kent and aims to publish a full set of final recommendations for Kent County Council in January 2016.