The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across South Oxfordshire to comment on its draft proposals for new electoral arrangements for South Oxfordshire District Council.
An eight-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 7 January 2013. The consultation is open to anyone in South Oxfordshire who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the district.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that South Oxfordshire District Council should have 36 councillors in the future – twelve fewer than under the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent eight single-member, eight two-member and four three-member wards across the district.
The full recommendations and interactive maps are available at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings and libraries.
Max Caller CBE, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across South Oxfordshire and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“Over the next eight weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.
“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for South Oxfordshire’s voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in district council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.
“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across South Oxfordshire and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.
“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole district or just a part of it.
“We have an open mind about suggestions from local people to change and improve these recommendations.
Please note that the Commission is also carrying out an electoral review of neighbouring Vale of White Horse District Council and will consider each authority separately throughout the process.
Please write or email us by 7 January 2013:
The Review Officer (South Oxfordshire)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
76-86 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5LG
Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal: consultation.lgbce.org.uk
Link to the dedicated web page for the South Oxfordshire electoral review: www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/oxfordshire/south-oxfordshire-fer
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 an electoral review of South Oxfordshire 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. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
4. Residents have from 13 November 2012 until 7 January 2013 to have their say about where ward boundaries for South Oxfordshire should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in spring 2013. 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 council elections in May 2015.
For further information:
Press Office: 020 7664 8530/8534