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Local views sought on number of councillors for Shepway

22nd October 2012

Local views sought on number of councillors for Shepway

2012-10-23-T10:00+00:00

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent Shepway 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 district council's wards.

The Commission has considered evidence submitted to it by the council and is now consulting local people on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 30 councillors in future, 16 fewer than the current arrangements.

The Commission is now asking local people whether they think 30 is the right number of councillors for Shepway. Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: "This is your chance to shape your council for the future.

"We are asking people across Shepway whether they agree that 30 councillors is the right number to represent Shepway District Council in the future.

"We want to know if you think 30 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 communities in Shepway.

"If you don't agree that Shepway should be represented by 30 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 Shepway, 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 December 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 January 2013 and then begin to gather information from local people and organisations on new ward boundaries across Shepway.

The Commission aims to publish its draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards for Shepway in June 2013 when it will consult local people again for twelve weeks. Final recommendations are due to be published in January 2014 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 (Shepway)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
London
EC1M 5LG
 
Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

Have your say directly through our consultation portal at: consultation.lgbce.org.uk

ends/

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 Shepway to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. Shepway currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality. For example Folkestone Harvey Central ward has 41% more voters per councillor than the average for Shepway whereas New Romney Town ward has 22% fewer. This means that the value of your vote, in local elections, varies considerably depending n where you live in the district.

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 30 councillors is the right number for Shepway 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 30 councillors is the right number for the council to be able to take decisions for Shepway effectively?
  • Could 30 councillors effectively represent the interests of all Shepway's various communities?

Further guidance on responding to our consultations is also available on the website www.lgbce.org.uk and residents can have their say directly at consultation.lgbce.org.uk.

5. The electoral review of Shepway 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.

For further information contact the Commission's press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534 or email: press@lgbce.org.uk