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Residents in Middlesbrough are being asked for their views on proposals for new local electoral arrangements in the Middlesbrough area.
Commenting on the proposals, the Committee's Chairman, Pamela Gordon, said: 'At present, the electoral arrangements across Middlesbrough are significantly unbalanced. For example, the worst imbalance is in Newham ward where each councillor represents 120%more electors than the borough average, while each councillor for Ayresome ward represents 27% fewer electors than the borough average.
The aim of our review is to ensure that, as far as possible within each district, each person's vote should have the same value as another's without disrupting community identities. We are consulting until 8 July 2002 and I hope that all those affected by our proposals will tell us what they think about them.'
As a consequence of the Committee's draft recommendations most of the ward boundaries in Middlesbrough are likely to change.
The Committee's draft recommendations are based on the Borough Council's scheme. However, there are amendments to five wards to improve electoral equality, and further minor modifications to 10 wards to provide more identifiable boundaries and reflect community identities and interests. The Committee's proposals are for 48 councillors for Middlesbrough (reduced from 53) representing 23 wards (reduced from 25).
The public consultation period begins today and runs until 8 July 2002. The Committee takes into account all representations received by the closing date when it produces its final recommendations 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 people let the Committee have their views, whether or not they agree with the draft recommendations.
Copies of the relevant reports are available by writing to the Committee at the address below and are 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 to The Team Leader (Middlesbrough), Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW no later than 8 July 2002.
All representations will be available for inspection, by appointment, at the Committee's offices and copies will be available at the offices of Middlesbrough Borough Council. A list of respondents is also available on request from the Committee.
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