The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent Uttlesford 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 all the council’s wards.
The Commission has considered evidence submitted to it by Uttlesford District Council and is now consulting local people on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 39 councillors in future, five fewer than under the current arrangements.
The Commission is asking local people whether they think 39 is the right number of councillors for Uttlesford.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future.
“We are asking people across Uttlesford whether they agree that 39 councillors is the right number to represent the district in the future.
“We want to know if you think 39 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 Uttlesford’s communities.
“If you don’t agree that Uttlesford should be represented by 39 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 the district, 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 the district.
The Commission aims to publish its draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards for Uttlesford 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 (Uttlesford) 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 Uttlesford 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. The situation means that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in Uttlesford.
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 39 councillors is the right number for Uttlesford 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:
5. You can find the evidence presented to the Commission by the District Council and political groups at: www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/eastern/essex/uttlesford-fer
6. The electoral review of Uttlesford 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.