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Tyne and Wear residents consulted on proposed changes to local electoral arrangements

25th February 2003

Tyne and Wear residents consulted on proposed changes to local electoral arrangements

25th February 2003

This is an archived news release and links may no longer work.

Residents in Tyne and Wear 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 Tyne and Wear are likely to change.

The public consultation period begins today and runs until 22 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 Tyne and Wear are significantly unbalanced. For example, the worst imbalance is in Washington South ward in Sunderland, where each councillor represents 63% more electors than the city average, while each councillor for Scotswood ward in Newcastle upon Tyne represents 42% 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 22 April 2003 and I hope that all those affected by our proposals will tell us what they think about them."

Newcastle upon Tyne - The committee proposes that the overall number of councillors remains the same at 78, representing 26 wards, although there will be a number of amendments to existing ward boundaries.

Sunderland - The Committee's draft recommendations for Sunderland are for retaining a council size of 75 members representing 25 wards, subject to a number of amendments to existing ward boundaries. The Committee is proposing an additional ward in the Washington area which is currently under-represented.

Gateshead - The Committee proposes retaining a council size of 66 representing 22 wards. The draft recommendations will include modified boundaries for 21 of the existing 22 wards.

North Tyneside - The Committee recommends that the overall number of councillors for North Tyneside remains the same at 60, representing 20 wards. The boundaries of all existing wards will be modified.

South Tyneside - the Committee's draft recommendations for South Tyneside are for a council size of 54 (reduced from 60) representing 18 wards. The proposals include a number of amendments to existing ward boundaries.

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 22 April 2003 to: Team Leader (Tyne and Wear), 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.

For further information contact:

Elise Cross on 020 7271 0530 or Gemma Crosland on 020 7271 0527

Out of office hours 07789 920 414, Fax: 020 7271 0528

press@boundaryCommittee.org.uk

www.boundaryCommitteee.org.uk

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 Tyne and Wear began 14 May 2002.

3.      The Boundary Committee is a statutory Committee of The Electoral Commission.

ENDS