The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of electoral divisions for Leicestershire County Council.
The Commission has also announced that it is minded to recommend that the council should have 55 county councillors in future: the same as the current arrangements.
The Commission now needs information from people and groups across Leicestershire to help it to produce a new pattern of divisions to accommodate 55 county councillors.
In drawing up new boundaries, the Commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections so that each county councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. The review also aims to ensure that the new county divisions reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Leicestershire.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “The starting point of an electoral review is for the Commission to take a view on the number of councillors that should represent the authority in future. On the evidence presented to the Commission, we are minded to recommend that Leicestershire should continue to have 55 councillors.
“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new divisions for Leicestershire. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.
“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 Leicestershire or just a small part of the county.
“We will publish all the submissions on our website so that local people can see all the various proposals we receive. Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations in October.”
Local people have until 21 July 2015 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing divisions can be found at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk.
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 aim of an electoral review is to provide for ‘electoral equality’; that means each 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:
· Do you have suggestions about where your division 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?
4. Residents have from 12 May 2015 to 21 July 2015 to have their say about where electoral division boundaries for Leicestershire’s 55 county councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in October 2015 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New divisions are scheduled to come into effect at the 2017 local elections.
5. The Commission’s decision on council size means it is ‘minded’ to recommend 55 county councillors for Leicestershire but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations and depending on the evidence submitted to it during consultation.
7. Members of the public can have their say on the new division arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Leicestershire) Local Government Boundary Commission for England 14th floor, Millbank Tower Millbank London SW1P 4QP
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
Go directly to the Commission’s consultation portal at: www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Link to dedicated web page for the Leicestershire electoral review at:For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1525 / 1250 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org