Time is running out for local people to tell the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England what they think of proposals for new council ward boundaries across West Dorset district.
The public consultation closes on 28 April 2014.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that West Dorset District Council should have 42 councillors in the future, six fewer than the current arrangements. The proposals mean those councillors would represent ten single-member, ten two-member and four three-member wards across the district.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are keen to hear local views about our boundary proposals before we finalise them in July.
“We want to make sure ward boundaries across West Dorset reflect the identities and interests of local communities as well as delivering electoral fairness for voters.
“This is your last chance to have your say before we finalise the recommendations.”
Local people can have their say directly by visiting www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk.
The full recommendations and detailed maps are also available on the Commission’s main website at www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-west/dorset/west-dorset-fer.
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for West Dorset. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email by 28 April 2014:
The Review Officer (West Dorset)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
76-86 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5LG
Or email: email@example.com
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
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 Commission is carrying out a review of West Dorset district to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. The district currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer, voters than other members of the council. For example, Dorchester North ward contains 26% more electors than the average for district but Yetminster ward contains 19% fewer. The situation means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in West Dorset district.
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 until 28 April 2014 to have their say about where ward boundaries for West Dorset should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in July 2014. 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.