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Local views sought on number of councillors for City of York Council

24th July 2012

Local views sought on number of councillors for City of York Council

24th July 2012

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent City of York Council in the future.

The six-week public consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will also consider changes to the number, names and boundaries of all the council’s wards.

The Commission has considered evidence submitted to it by the City Council and is now consulting local people on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 47 councillors in future, the same as the current arrangements. The Commission is asking local people whether they think 47 is still the right number of councillors for York.

Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future.

“We are asking people across York whether they agree that 47 councillors is the right number to represent York in the future.

“We want to know if you think 47 is the right number of councillors to be able to take decisions effectively and whether it’s the right number to represent the interests of all York’s communities.

“If you don’t agree that York should be represented by 47 councillors, we’d like you to tell us your alternative and why you think there should be more – or fewer – members of the council in the future.

“Once we’ve taken a view on the number of councillors for York, we will redraw ward boundaries to accommodate those elected members and we’ll be asking local people to have their say during that process as well.”

The current phase of consultation closes on 3 September 2012. Once it has considered the evidence provided by local people and organisations, the Commission will publish its proposal on the total number of councillors in October and then begin to gather information from local people and organisations on new ward boundaries across York.

The Commission aims to publish its draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards for York in April 2013 when it will consult local people again for twelve weeks. Final recommendations are due to be published in October 2013 and the new electoral arrangements would come into effect for the council elections in 2015.

Further information on electoral reviews and guidance on what sort of information the Commission is looking for, log on to our website at www.lgbce.org.uk.

To have your say, please write to:

The Review Officer (York)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
London
EC1M 5LG

Or email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

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For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534

or email: press@lgbce.org.uk

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. The Commission also carries out reviews of the external boundaries of local authorities and their structure.

2. The Commission is carrying out an electoral review of York to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. The City currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer, than other member of the council. The situation means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in York.

3. The aim of the review is to recommend ward boundaries that mean each councillor represents approximately the same number of electors. Furthermore, as it draws up new electoral arrangements for an authority, the Commission must also have regard to the interests and identities of local communities as well as ensuring that the new electoral arrangements promote effective and convenient local government.

4. In this phase of consultation, the Commission is asking local people to consider whether 47 councillors is the right number for York and, if not, how many would better promote effective and convenient local government. In coming to a conclusion on council size, the Commission is also asking people to consider the following types of questions:

  • Do you think 47 councillors is the right number for the council to be able to take decisions for York effectively?
  • Could 47 councillors effectively represent the interests of all the various communities across York?

Further guidance on responding to our consultations is also available on the website www.lgbce.org.uk.

5. You can find the evidence presented to the Commission by the City Council and political groups at: www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/yorkshire-and-humberside/north-yorkshire/city-of-york-fer.

6. The electoral review of City of York Council is a separate undertaking from the current review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which is being carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.