Have your say on new ward boundaries for Bexley
The Commission has also announced that it is minded to recommend that the council should have 45 councillors in future: 18 fewer than the current arrangements.
The Commission now needs information from people and groups across Bexley to help it to produce a new pattern of wards to accommodate 45 councillors.
In drawing up new boundaries, the Commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. The review also aims to ensure that the new council wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Bexley.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “The starting point of an electoral review is for the Commission to take a view on the number of councillors that should represent the authority in future. On the evidence presented to the Commission, we are minded to recommend that Bexley should have 45 councillors in future: 18 fewer than the current arrangements.
“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Bexley. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.
“Your views will make a difference.
“We will carefully consider all evidence that is provided during this phase of the review whoever it is from and whether it applies to the whole of Bexley or just a small part of the borough.
“We will publish all the submissions on our website so that local people can see all the various proposals we receive. Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations in February 2016.”
Local people have until 16 November 2015 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk.
Notes to editors:
1. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is responsible for reviewing local authority electoral arrangements, defining boundaries for local elections and the number of councillors to be elected, as well as conducting reviews of local government external boundaries and structures.
2. The aim of an electoral review is to provide for ‘electoral equality’; that means each councillor representing approximately the same number of electors. The Commission must also have regard to community identity and interests and providing effective and convenient local government.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
· Do you have suggestions about where your ward boundaries should be?
· Which areas do you identify as your local community?
· Where do people in your area go to access local facilities such as shops and leisure activities?
4. Residents have from 8 September until 16 November 2015 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Bexley’s 45 councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in February 2016 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2018 local elections.
5. The Commission’s decision on council size means it is ‘minded’ to recommend 45 councillors for Bexley but is not legally bound by that number in its final recommendations and depending on the evidence submitted to it during consultation.
6. Each ward in Bexley is currently represented by three councillors. There is no longer a legal requirement for a uniform pattern of three-member wards across the borough. This means that the Commission is free to draw up wards that elect one, two or three councillors depending on the evidence presented to it about each local area.
7. Members of the public can have their say on the new ward arrangements by writing to:The Review Officer (Bexley) LGBCE 14th floor, Millbank Tower London SW1P 4QP
Email: [email protected]
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
Go directly to the Commission’s consultation portal at: www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk
For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1250 / 1525 or email: [email protected]