The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across Hackney to comment on its draft proposals for new electoral arrangements for Hackney Council.
A ten-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 24 September 2012. The consultation is open to anyone in Hackney who wants to have their say on new wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the borough.
The Commission's draft recommendations propose that Hackney Council should have 57 councillors in the future - the same as the current arrangements. The proposals would mean those councillors would represent 13 three-member wards and nine two-member wards across the borough.
The recommendations mean changes to the current ward boundaries across the borough.
The full recommendations and detailed maps are available on the Commission's website at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/greater-london/hackney-fer. Hard copies of the Commission's report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings and libraries.
Dr Colin Sinclair, lead Commissioner for the review of Hackney, said: "We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Hackney and we're 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 Hackney's 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 borough 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 borough or just a part of it.
"In many parts of Hackney, our recommendations are based on proposals put to us by Hackney Council. In other parts of the borough we have devised our own pattern of wards. 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 Hackney Council. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 24 September 2012:The Review Officer (Hackney) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
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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 Hackney currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality between wards. Hoxton ward, for example, has 18% more electors per councillor than the average in Hackney whereas New River ward has 19% fewer voters than the average. Overall, the situation means that the value of your vote varies considerably depending on where you live in the borough.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
4. Residents have from 17 July until 24 September 2012 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Hackney should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in December 2012. 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 electoral divisions will come into effect at the council elections in 2014.