The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent South Hams 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 political groups and is now consulting residents on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 30 councillors in future, ten fewer than the current arrangements.
The Commission is asking local people whether they think 30 is the right number of councillors for South Hams.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future.
“We are asking people across South Hams whether they agree that 30 councillors is the right number to represent the district 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 South Hams’ communities.
“If you don’t agree that South Hams should be represented by 30 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’ve taken a view on the number of councillors, we will re-draw ward boundaries to accommodate those elected members and we’ll be asking 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
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Follow the Commission on Twitter @LGBCE.
The current phase of consultation closes on 18 February 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 March 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 South Hams in August 2013 when it will consult local people again. 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 (South Hams) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG
Or email: email@example.com
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530/8534
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 South Hams 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, than other member of the council. situation means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in South Hams.
3. In this phase of consultation, the Commission is asking local people to consider whether 30 councillors is the right number for South Hams 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 South Hams District 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.