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 Braintree District Council.
Following a six-week public consultation, the Commission has also announced that it is minded to recommend that the council should have 50 councillors in the future, ten fewer than the current arrangements.
The Commission now needs information from people and groups across Braintree to help it to produce a new pattern of wards to accommodate 50 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 the district.
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 who should represent the authority in future. On the evidence presented to the Commission, we are minded to recommend that Braintree District Council should have 50 councillors in future, ten fewer than the current set up.
“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for the district. 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 district or just a small part of it.”
Residents will have a further chance to have their say after the Commission publishes its draft recommendations in January 2014.
Local people have until 23 September 2013 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found at 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:
4. Residents have from 16 July to 23 September 2013 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Braintree District Council’s 50 councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in January 2014 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2015 local elections.
5. The Commission’s decision on council size means it is ‘minded’ to recommend 50 district councillors for Braintree District Council but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations and depending on the evidence submitted to it during consultation.
6. Members of the public can have their say on the new ward arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Braintree) Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
Go directly to the Commission’s consultation portal at: consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Link to dedicated web page for the Braintree electoral review at: www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/eastern/essex/braintree-fer
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: email@example.com