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Residents in South Yorkshire are being asked for their views on new local electoral arrangements. The Boundary Committee today publishes its draft recommendations for proposed changes, based on locally generated schemes, to provide a better electoral balance. Most of the ward boundaries in South Yorkshire are likely to change.
The public consultation period begins today and runs until 7 April 2003. 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 South Yorkshire are significantly unbalanced. For example, the worst imbalance is in Mosborough ward in Sheffield, where each councillor represents 104% more electors than the borough average, while each councillor for Wombwell North wardin Barnsley represents 36% fewer electors than the borough 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 7 April 2003 and I hope that all those affected by our proposals will tell us what they think about them."
Sheffield - The Committee proposes adopting a reduced council size of 84 for Sheffield (reduced from 87) representing 28 wards (reduced from 29) in order to ensure the better levels of electoral equality.
Rotherham - In order to secure effective local government the Committee proposes a reduction of council size from 66 members to 63 representing 21 wards reduced from 22 wards.
Doncaster - The Committee proposes retaining a council size of 63 members representing 21 wards with a few minor boundary changes.
Barnsley - The Commission proposes reducing the council size from 66 to 63 representing 21 wards decreased from 22 wards.
Copies of the relevant reports are available from the Committee's website at www.boundarycommittee.org.uk or by writing to the Committee, and will be available for reference at council offices and in public libraries.
Anyone wishing to make representations to The Boundary Committee on its draft recommendations should do so in writing no later than 7 April 2003 to: Team Leader (South Yorkshire), 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.
Elise Cross on 020 7271 0530 or Gemma Crosland on 020 7271 0527
Out of office hours 07789 920 414, Fax: 020 7271 0528
Notes to Editors:
1. PDFs of maps are available on The Boundary Committee's website www.boundarycommittee.org.uk. For copyright permission, contact Ordnance Survey's helpline on 023 8030 5092.
2. The present review of South Yorkshire began on 8 May 2002.
3. The Boundary Committee is a statutory committee of The Electoral Commission.