LGBCE's site uses cookies to make your experience easier. Close this box to accept or go to our cookies page to find out more

Have your say on new council ward boundaries for Birmingham

21st July 2015

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for Birmingham City Council.

 

The consultation will help the Commission re-draw ward boundaries across the city.

 

The Commission has also announced that it is minded to recommend that, from 2018, the council should have 100 councillors: 20 fewer than the current arrangements.

 

The Commission now needs information from people and groups across Birmingham to help it to produce a new pattern of wards to accommodate 100 city councillors.

 

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 Birmingham.

 

The Commission decided to conduct its electoral review following publication of Sir Bob Kerslake’s (now Lord Kerslake) report on the governance and organisational capabilities of Birmingham City Council. The report recommended that an electoral review should be conducted ‘to help the council produce an effective model of representative governance.’

 

Max Caller CBE, Chair of the Commission, said: “The first part of the electoral review is for the Commission to come to a view on the total number of councillors that should be elected to the council in the future. Our judgment is that 100 councillors is the right number to provide effective local government for Birmingham.

 

“In coming to our conclusion on the number of councillors for Birmingham, we have taken into account a range of evidence. We have concluded that 100 councillors will help the council address the failings of the past, reflect the process of change which is already underway as well as helping councillors and staff to deliver its ambitions for the future.

 

“The Kerslake report highlighted how the council needs to change. In particular, it described how the current quantity of councillors, committees and decision making bodies had not always translated into a high quality of representation for local people or allowed the council to develop a vision for the future.

 

“We have also examined the council’s response to the Kerslake report and found that they support the thrust of its conclusions. The response demonstrated to us that the process of change in Birmingham is underway. For example, the council has already thought about how it will streamline its scrutiny processes and how the wasteful overlap of effort between elected members and council staff could be reduced.

 

“Finally, the Leader and Executive team set out several possible governance arrangements for the future which could be supported by a 100-councillor model.

 

“The Commission was persuaded that past failings, current activity and future plans of the authority could best be addressed, encouraged and delivered by a council size of 100 members.

 

“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Birmingham. 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, canal or railway makes for a strong boundary between communities in your part of Birmingham, 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.

 

“Your views will make a difference.

 

“We will carefully consider all evidence that is provided during this phase of the review whoever it is from and whether it applies to the whole of Birmingham or just a small part of the city.

 

“Each ward in Birmingham is currently represented by three councillors. There is no longer a legal requirement for a uniform pattern of three-member wards across the city. This means that the Commission is free to draw up wards that elect one, two or three councillors depending on the evidence presented to it about each local area. Given the evidence we have already seen about local accountability in existing wards, proposals for one or more three-member wards should carefully consider why such an arrangement would reflect the criteria we must consider when we draw up new boundaries.

 

“Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations in December.”

 

Local people have until 28 September 2015 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk.

 

ends 

 

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 types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:

· Do you have suggestions about where your ward boundaries should be?

· Which areas do you identify as your local community?

· Where do people in your area go to access local facilities such as shops and leisure activities?

3. Residents have from 21 July to 28 September 2015 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Birmingham’s 100 councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in December 2015 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2018 council elections.

4. The Commission has announced that it is ‘minded’ to recommend 100 city councillors for Birmingham 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.

5. Members of the public can have their say on the new electoral arrangements by writing to:

The Review Officer (Birmingham)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th floor, Millbank Tower
London
SW1P 4QP

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk  

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/current-reviews/west-midlands/west-midlands/birmingham

For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250 / 1525 or email: press@lgbce.org.uk