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A review of local government electoral arrangements in the Tyne and Wear areas of Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland starts today. The review will be carried out by The Boundary Committee for England and aims to make sure, where possible, that within each local authority area every councillor represents the same number of electors. The reviews will also take into account the identities and interests of local communities in the area.
Reviews have to be carried out periodically because the number and distribution of electors change over time. The Committee can recommend changes to the number of councillors, the number and boundaries of wards, including the creation of new wards, and the names of wards. The Committee can also recommend changes to the electoral arrangements of parish and town councils, where they exist.
The Committee cannot consider changes to the external boundaries of a district or parish, or create new parishes. However, changes to parish boundaries can be considered by the relevant district council, following a parish review under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997.
Local people, interested parties and associations are invited to submit their own proposals for changes to electoral arrangements by writing to the Committee no later than 16 September 2002: The Team Leader (Tyne and Wear), Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
The Committee expects to publish draft recommendations for consultation in early 2003. Following public consultation on the draft recommendations, the Committee will make final recommendations on changes to electoral arrangements in approximately a year's time.
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