The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people how many councillors they think should represent Wyre 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 Wyre 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 50 councillors in future, five fewer than under the current arrangements.
The Commission is now asking local people whether they think 50 is the right number of councillors for Wyre. Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: "This is your chance to shape your council for the future.
"We are asking people across Wyre whether they agree that 50 councillors is still the right number to represent Wyre Council in the future.
"We want to know if you think 50 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 Wyre.
"If you don't agree that Wyre should be represented by 50 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 Wyre, 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 Wyre.
The Commission aims to publish its draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards for Wyre 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 (Wyre)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
76-86 Turnmill Street
Have your say directly through our consultation portal at: consultation.lgbce.org.uk
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 Wyre to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. Wyre currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality. For example Catterall ward has 30% more voters than the average for Wyre whereas Pharos ward has 18% fewer. This means that the value of your vote, in local elections, varies considerably depending n where you live in Wyre.
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 50 councillors is the right number for Wyre 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. The electoral review of Wyre 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:email@example.com@lgbce.org.uk