In drawing up new boundaries, the Commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. The review also aims to ensure that the new council wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Newcastle.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Newcastle. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.
“If you have a view about which communities or neighbourhoods should be part of the same council ward, then we want to hear from you. And if you think a road, river or railway makes for a strong boundary between communities in your part of Newcastle, then this consultation is for you. Alternatively, if you’re simply interested in the way the city is run, just log on to our website to explore our interactive maps and have your say.
4. Residents have from 26 January until 4 April 2016 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Newcastle’s 78 councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in June 2016 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2018 council elections.
5. The Commission has announced that it is ‘minded’ to recommend 78 city councillors for Newcastle but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations if a different number of councillors would deliver a better pattern of wards.
6. For councils, like Newcastle, that hold elections in three years out of every four, the Commission has a responsibility, set out in legislation, to devise a pattern of three-member wards across the whole authority. Such a ward pattern means that every elector would have the same opportunity to vote in local elections each time they are held. However, the Commission is able to move away from a uniform pattern of three-member wards – on a ward by ward basis - if it believes an alternative arrangement would better meet its other statutory criteria: to deliver electoral equality for voters, to reflect the interests and identities of local communities and to promote effective and convenient local government.
7. Members of the public can have their say on the new electoral arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Newcastle) LGBCE 14th floor, Millbank Tower London SW1P 4QP
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
Go directly to the Commission’s consultation portal at: www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Find out more on our website at: www.lgbce.org.uk
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250 / 1525 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org