The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across Fenland to comment on its draft proposals for new electoral arrangements for Fenland District Council.
An eleven-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 7 January 2013. The consultation is open to anyone in Fenland who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the district.
The Commission's draft recommendations propose that Fenland District Council should have 39 district councillors in the future: one fewer than under the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent 15 single-member, six two-member and four three-member wards across the district.
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission's website at 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 Fenland and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
"Over the next eleven 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 district councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone's vote in district 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 Fenland 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 district or just a part of it.
"Our draft recommendations are broadly based on evidence presented to us by the council. We have an open mind about further suggestions from local people to change and improve these recommendations.
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Fenland District Council. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 7 January 2013:The Review Officer (Fenland) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Have your say directly through the Commission's consultation portal: consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Link to the dedicated web page for the Fenland electoral review: http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/eastern/cambridgeshire/fenland-fer
For further information contact: Press Office: 020 7664 8530/8534
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) 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 the review because Fenland currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality. For example, Kingsmoor ward has 34% fewer voters per councillor than the average for the district whereas The Mills ward has 13% more. This means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in the district.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
4. Residents have from 23 October 2012 until 7 January 2013 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Fenland should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in March 2013. 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.