The consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw division boundaries across the whole county.
The Commission has also announced that it is minded to recommend that the county council should have 57 county councillors in the future, five fewer than the current arrangements.
The Commission now needs information from people and groups across Warwickshire to help it to produce a new pattern of electoral divisions to accommodate 57 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 council divisions reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Warwickshire.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new electoral divisions for Warwickshire. 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, parishes or neighbourhoods should be part of the same county division, 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 Warwickshire, then this consultation is for you. Alternatively, if you’re simply interested in the way the county 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 Warwickshire or just a small part of the county.
“Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations in September.”
Local people have until 23 June 2014 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing boundaries 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 county 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 electoral 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 15 April to 23 June 2014 to have their say about where division boundaries for Warwickshire’s 57 county councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in September 2014 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New divisions are scheduled to come into effect at the 2017 county elections.
5. The Commission has announced that it is ‘minded’ to recommend 57 county councillors for Warwickshire but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations if a different number of county councillors would deliver a better pattern of divisions.
6. The electoral review will only consider the electoral division boundaries of Warwickshire County Council. It will not make any changes to district council wards or the external boundaries of districts in the county or the boundaries of the county itself.
7. Members of the public can have their say on the new ward arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Warwickshire) Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
Go directly to the Commission’s consultation portal at:
Find out more on the Commission’s website at: www.lgbce.org.uk
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org