The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent Newark and Sherwood District 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 the council's wards.
The Commission has considered evidence submitted to it by the council and is now consulting residents on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 38 councillors in future, eight fewer than the current arrangements.
The Commission is asking local people whether they think 38 is the right number of councillors for Newark and Sherwood.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: "This is your chance to shape your council for the future.
"We are asking people across Newark and Sherwood whether they agree that 38 councillors is the right number to represent the district in the future.
"We want to know if you think 38 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 the district's communities.
"If you don't agree that Newark and Sherwood should be represented by 38 councillors, we want 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 have taken a view on the number of councillors, we will re-draw ward boundaries to accommodate those elected members and we will ask local people to have their say during that process as well."
Further information about the review is available at www.lgbce.org.uk.
Residents can have their say directly at consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Follow the Commission on Twitter @LGBCE.
Write to:The Review Officer (Newark and Sherwood)
The current phase of consultation closes on 8 April 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 May 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 Newark and Sherwood in October 2013 when it will consult local people again. Final recommendations are due to be published in March 2014 and the new electoral arrangements would come into effect for the council elections in 2015.
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 Newark and Sherwood 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, Farndon ward contains 18% more electors than the average for district but Bildworth ward contains 12% fewer. The situation means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in Newark and Sherwood.
3. In this phase of consultation, the Commission is asking local people to consider whether 38 councillors is the right number for Newark and Sherwood 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:
4. The electoral review of Newark and Sherwood District Council is a separate undertaking from the review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which was carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.