The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 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 the council’s wards.
The Commission has considered views put to it by the council and other groups and is now asking residents whether they agree that the total number of councillors should be reduced and, if so, how many elected members there should be in future.
The Commission has also published guidance for local people to consider before responding to the consultation. The guide can be found at: www.lgbce.org.uk/__documents/lgbce/reviews/doncaster/council-size/doncasterconsultationdocument.pdf
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future.
“We have considered the views put to us by the council, the Recovery Board and others. The Commission received strong evidence that the total number of councillors should be reduced from 63 but we want to hear local views before we take a firm decision.
“The council has proposed that the number of councillors should be reduced to 54 and the Recovery Board have supplied evidence that the total number should be around 48. Both cases were persuasive but we want to know what local people think.
“We want to make sure the council has the right number of councillors to take decisions effectively on behalf of the borough and that there are the right number of elected members to represent the interests of local people and communities.
“Once we have taken a view on the number of councillors for Doncaster, we will re-draw ward boundaries to accommodate those elected members and we will be asking local people to have their say during that process as well.”
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The current phase of consultation closes on 14 October 2013. 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 November 2013 and then begin to gather information to help draw up new ward boundaries.
The Commission aims to publish its draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards for Doncaster in May 2014 when it will consult local people again. Final recommendations are due to be published in October 2014 and the new electoral arrangements would come into effect for the council elections in 2015. To have your say, write to:The Review Officer (Doncaster) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London
Consultation portal: consultation.lgbce.org.uk
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Doncaster following a request from the former Mayor in 2012. Since the Commission agreed to the request, the Doncaster Recovery Board also recommended that an electoral review should take place to deliver new electoral arrangements for the council.
3. The aim of the review is to recommend ward boundaries that mean each councillor represents approximately the same number of electors. 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 how many councillors should represent Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. The Commission is asking people to consider the following types of questions:
• How many councillors do you think the council needs to take all its decisions?
• What effect should changes to the council’s system of scrutiny have on the total number of councillors elected in Doncaster
• How many councillors do you think the council needs to represent the interests of local communities effectively?