Local residents are being invited to give their views on how their council is organised as the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England begins an electoral review of Gloucestershire County Council today (Tuesday 14th September 2010).
The review will consider changes to the number of councillors on the council as well as the number and boundaries of the county’s electoral divisions.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “The leaders of the three largest political parties represented on Gloucestershire County Council wrote to the Boundary Committee for England (the LGBCE’s predecessor body) 18 months ago to ask us to conduct this review as they wished to return to an arrangement whereby the whole county was made up of single-member divisions.”
“At present, 10 divisions in Gloucestershire are represented by two councillors.Our review will seek to deliver single-member divisions as well ensuring all the new divisions are of roughly equal size in terms of numbers of voters to make sure everyone’s vote in local elections is worth about the same.”
“With elections due for the county in 2013, now is the right time for us to start the review.”
“Our focus will be on creating the single member divisions.In doing so, however, we will be building new divisions across the county not just in the current two member divisions.That’s why we want to hear the views of local people across the whole county.”
“Throughout the review, we’ll be taking into account local community identities and we seek to ensure that the new divisions reflect the county’s natural communities. This is your chance to shape your council for the future.”
The first stage of the Commission’s consultation closes on 25th October 2010.During this stage, local people are being invited to comment – specifically – on how many councillors should serve Gloucestershire in total.
Once it has considered the evidence provided by local people and organisations, the Commission will then publish its decision on the total number of county councillors and invite further views on where new division boundaries should be drawn. By June 2011, the Commission will publish draft recommendations for new divisions across Gloucestershire.
Following further public consultation on its draft recommendations, the Commission will publish its final plans in late 2011.The new boundaries are then scheduled to come into effect for the county elections in 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 (Gloucestershire) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Or email: email@example.com
Notes to editors:
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.