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Residents in Merseyside are being asked for their views on proposals for new local electoral arrangements in the Merseyside area. The Boundary Committee today publishes its draft recommendations for proposed changes, based on locally generated schemes with amendments, to provide a better electoral balance. Most of the ward boundaries in Merseyside are likely to change.
The public consultation period begins today and runs until 28 October 2002. The Committee will take into account all representations received by this date when it produces its final recommendations to submit to The Electoral Commission. The Committee may change some or all of the proposals, depending on the responses it receives during the consultation period. It is therefore important that members of the public let the Committee have their views, whether or not they agree with the draft recommendations.
Commenting on the proposals, the Committee's Chairman, Pamela Gordon, says: 'At present, the electoral arrangements across Merseyside are significantly unbalanced. For example, the worst imbalance is in Halewood East ward in Knowsley, where each councillor represents 55% more electors than the borough average, while each councillor for Netherley ward in Liverpool represents 45% fewer electors than the city average.
The aim of our review is to ensure that, as far as possible within each borough, each person's vote should have the same value as another's, without disrupting community identities. We are consulting until 28 October 2002 and I hope that all those affected by our proposals will tell us what they think about them.'
Knowsley - the Committee's draft recommendations for Knowsley utilise the existing strong natural boundaries wherever possible, although it has been necessary to breach these in some places in order to facilitate a uniform three-member ward scheme. The Committee's proposals are for 63 councillors for Knowsley (reduced from 66) representing 21 wards (reduced from 22).
Liverpool - the Committee proposes adopting a reduced council size of 90 for Liverpool (reduced from 99) representing 30 wards (reduced from 33) in order to ensure the best use of existing natural barriers and the best levels of electoral equality.
St Helens - the Committee's draft recommendations are for a council size of 48 (reduced from 54) representing 16 wards (reduced from 18).
Sefton - the Committee proposes that the overall number of councillors for Sefton remains the same at 66, representing 22 wards.
Copies of the relevant reports are available by writing to the Committee. They will also be available for reference at council offices and in public libraries. Anyone wishing to make representations to the Committee on its draft recommendations should do so in writing no later than 28 October 2002 to: The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
All representations will be available for inspection, by appointment, at the Committee's offices and copies will be available at the offices of the relevant local authority. A list of respondents is also available on request from the Committee.
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