The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent Vale of White Horse 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 Vale of White Horse District Council and is now consulting local people on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 38 councillors in future, 13 fewer than under the current arrangements.
The Commission is asking local people whether they think 38 is the right number of councillors for Vale of White Horse.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future.
“We are asking people across Vale of White Horse District 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 Vale of White Horse’s communities.
“If you don’t agree that Vale of White Horse should be represented by 38 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 8 May 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 June 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 Vale of White Horse in November 2012 when it will consult local people again for eight weeks. Final recommendations are due to be published in Spring 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 (Vale of White Horse) Local Government Boundary Commission for England Layden House 76-86 Turnmill Street London EC1M 5LG Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0207 664 8530 or email: email@example.com
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 Vale of White Horse following a request by the District Council to consider the number of councillors representing the local authority. The aim of the review is also 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.
3. In this phase of consultation, the Commission is asking local people to consider whether 38 councillors is the right number for Vale of White Horse 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. You can find the evidence presented to the Commission by the District Council at: www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/oxfordshire/vale-of-white-horse-fer
5. The electoral review of Vale of White Horse 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.