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 Eastleigh.
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 Eastleigh should have 39 councillors in future: five fewer than the current arrangements.
“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Eastleigh. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.
4. Residents have from 24 November 2015 until 1 February 2016 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Eastleigh’s 39 councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in May 2016 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2018 local elections.
5. The Commission’s decision on council size means it is ‘minded’ to recommend 39 councillors for Eastleigh but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations and depending on the evidence submitted to it during consultation.
6. For councils, like Eastleigh, 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 ward arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Eastleigh) 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
Link to dedicated web page for the Eastleigh electoral review 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