Local residents are being invited to give their views on what their county council will look like in the future as the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England begins an electoral review of Oxfordshire County Council today (Tuesday 12 October 2010).
The review will consider changes to the number of councillors on the council as well as the number and boundaries of the county council’s electoral divisions.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “Having fair electoral boundaries is important for local democracy.”
“The purpose of a review is to try to ensure that each councillor represents around the same number of people and that every elector’s vote is worth the same. That’s not the case at the moment in Oxfordshire. In Witney East division, there are 35% more electors than for the average in Oxfordshire. That represents a major imbalance in the value of people’s votes there compared to the rest of the county.
“During the course of the review, we’ll also be looking to take into account local community identities when we redraw the electoral divisions of the county. This is your chance to shape your council for the future.”
The first stage of the Commission’s consultation closes on 22 November 2010. During this stage, local people are being invited to comment – specifically – on how many county councillors should serve Oxfordshire in total.
Once it has considered the evidence provided by local people and organisations, the Commission will then publish its proposal on the total number of councillors and invite further views on where new division boundaries should be drawn. In July 2011, the Commission will publish draft recommendations for new divisions across Oxfordshire.
Following further public consultation on its draft recommendations, the Commission is set to publish its final plans in early 2012.The new electoral arrangements would then be due to come into effect for the county elections in May 2013.
Further information on electoral reviews and guidance on what sort of information the Commission is looking for should be available at council offices, in your local library, or on our website at www.lgbce.org.uk
To have your say, please write to:The Review Officer (Oxfordshire) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Or email: email@example.com
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, e.g. defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, and for conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structure.
2. The main 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. Further guidance on responding to our consultations is available on the website http://www.lgbce.org.uk .