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Technical Guidance


We currently publish guidance on the conduct of electoral reviews, principle area boundary reviews and community governance reviews, which are available through the links below:

Technical guidance (PDF)

Reviews of the internal electoral arrangements of local authorities: the number of councillors, names, number and boundaries of wards and electoral divisions. Electoral reviews are primarily to improve electoral equality but can also be carried out by request, for example, to address council size (the total number of councillors elected to a local authority) or provide for single-member wards or divisions.

We also publish a guide on how to prepare an electorate forecast:

A practitioners guide on how to prepare an electorate forecast (PDF)

We have published a guide to explain the electoral review process and help you make submissions to the Commission during public consultation:

 'How to propose a pattern of wards' (PDF)

Tips for making a submission (PDF)

In the preliminary stages of a review, we will decide how many councillors should be elected to the local authority in the future. We will base this decision on the evidence we receive from the local authority itself and any other respondents who have made a representation. Below is our guide on how to make a council size representation, last updated March 2020:

Council Size Submission Guidance  (PDF)

We also provide a template for anybody making a council size representation:

Council Size Submission Template (.docx)


Reviews of the external boundaries of local authorities, intended to reflect community identities and to promote effective and convenient and effective local government. Reviews of this nature range from addressing minor boundary anomalies that hinder effective service delivery but affect only a few electors to whole-council mergers.

Principal area boundary review guidance (PDF)

Local authorities conducting, or considering conducting, a community governance review should refer to our joint guidance with the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Community governance review guidance (PDF)

As part of the review process local authorities are asked to make five-year forecasts of their electorate. Below is a guide on how to prepare an electorate forecast:

A practioners guide on how to prepare an electorate forecast (PDF)

We use the electoral register to establish the electorate of councils under review, and ask local authorities to complete forms with this information broken down into parish and/or polling district areas. We publish these forms on the relevant area's review page at the start of consultation on ward or division boundaries, so everyone can access the information.

Electorate form for use by local authorities (XLS)