The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across Lancaster to comment on its draft proposals for new council ward boundaries.
An eight-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 18 March 2013. The consultation is open to anyone in the Lancaster area who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names for Lancaster City Council.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Lancaster should have 60 councillors in the future, the same as the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent five single-member, eleven two-member and eleven three-member wards across Lancaster.
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings and libraries.
Max Caller CBE, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Lancaster and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“Over the next eight weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.
“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.
“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across the Lancaster area and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.
“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole borough or just part of it.
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Lancaster City Council. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 18 March 2013:The Review Officer (Lancaster) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
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Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation area: consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Link to the dedicated web page for the Lancaster electoral review: http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/north-west/lancashire/lancaster-fer
For further information contact: Press Office: 020 7664 8530/8534
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 Commission is carrying out the review because Lancaster currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where the value of your vote varies, to a significant degree, depending on where you live in the City of Lancaster.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
a. Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?
b. How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?
c. Are the names of the proposed wards right?
4. Residents have from 22 January 2013 until 18 March 2013 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Lancaster City Council should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in June 2013. Once the Commission agrees its final recommendations it will lay a draft order in both Houses of Parliament. Parliament will then have 40 days in which to consider the recommendations. If both Houses are satisfied with the recommendations, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the council elections in May 2015.