The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is asking people across Slough to comment on its draft proposals for new electoral arrangements for Slough Borough Council.
A nine-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 13 February 2012. The consultation is open to anyone in Slough who wants to have their say on new wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the borough.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Slough Borough Council should have 42 councillors – one more than at present. The proposals would mean those councillors would represent 14 wards with a uniform pattern of three-member wards across Slough.
The full recommendations and detailed maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk. They will also be available to view at local council buildings and libraries.
Max Caller, Chair of the LGBCE, said: “Today we are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Slough and we’re keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations. Over the next nine weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.
“Having fair electoral boundaries for your council is important. Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for Slough’s voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in local authority elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.
“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole borough or just a part of it.
“The Commission has an open mind about suggestions from local people to change and improve these recommendations. After all, local people know Slough best.
“There are three key factors you should consider when making submissions to us during the consultation. They are the rules, set out in law, which the Commission has to abide by when making our recommendations. Firstly, proposals must ensure electoral equality for voters with each councillor representing around the same number of electors. Second, the new wards should – as far as possible – reflect the communities of Slough. And finally, the proposals should help the council deliver effective and convenient local government.”
The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible in order to develop final recommendations for Slough Borough Council. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 13 February 2012:
The Review Officer (Slough)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
76-86 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5LG
Or email: email@example.com
For further information contact:
Press Office: 020 7664 8530
Notes to editors:
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, as well as conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structures.
2. The Commission is carrying out the review because Slough currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality. Central ward, for example, has 20% more electors per councillor than the average in Slough, whereas Foxborough ward has 16% fewer. This means that the value of your vote in local elections varies depending on where you live in Slough.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
4. Residents have from 13 December 2011 until 13 February 2012 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Slough should be drawn. The LGBCE will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in May 2012. Once the Commission agrees its final recommendations it will lay a draft order in both Houses of Parliament. Parliament will then have 40 days in which to consider the recommendations. If both Houses are satisfied with the recommendations, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the local elections in May 2014.