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Have your say on new local government boundaries across East Sussex

22nd September 2015

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up new boundaries for councils across East Sussex.

 

The Commission is reviewing the ward boundaries of all five district councils across East Sussex as well as the electoral divisions of the county council. The review means possible changes to the wards and divisions represented by every district and county councillor in East Sussex.

 

As part of the review, the Commission has also announced the number of councillors to be elected to each local authority in the county in future. The Commission proposes that East Sussex County Council should have 50 county councillors: one more than the current arrangements. For the county’s district councils, the Commission proposes that they all retain their existing number of district councillors apart from Wealden where the Commission has agreed to reduce the number of councillors by ten (to 45) as proposed by the council.

 

The Commission now needs information from people and groups across East Sussex to help it to produce a new pattern of wards and electoral divisions to accommodate councillors in every part of the county.

 

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 wards and divisions reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across East Sussex.

 

Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new ward and division boundaries across East Sussex.

 

“We are looking for evidence about local community identities and ties that will help us build district wards and electoral divisions throughout the county. We want to make sure that wards and divisions across the county are fair, mean something to voters and can help local councils deliver effective local government. 

 

“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 East Sussex or just a small part of the county.

 

“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 for the whole county in March 2016.”

 

Local people have until 30 November 2015 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing divisions and wards can be found at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk.

 

ends 

 

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 Commission is carrying out a combined electoral review of all district councils in East Sussex alongside a review of the electoral divisions of East Sussex County Council. The review will decide the electoral arrangements of all six councils, namely:

·         The total number of councillors to be elected to each authority.

·         The boundaries of each ward or electoral division.

·         The number of councillors to be elected to each ward or electoral division.

·         The name of each ward or division.

4.  The first stage of an electoral review is for the Commission to determine the total number of councillors to be elected to each local authority. The Commission has decided it is minded to recommend that each council in East Sussex should have the following number of councillors:

Local Authority

Current number of councillors

Recommended number of councillors

Change

East Sussex County Council

49

50

Increase of 1

Eastbourne Borough Council

27

27

No change

Hastings Borough Council

32

32

No change

Lewes District Council

41

41

No change

Rother District Council

38

38

No change

Wealden District Council

55

45

Reduction of 10

5.  The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:

·               Do you have suggestions about where your ward or division 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?

6.  Residents have from 22 September 2015 to 30 November 2015 to have their say about where electoral division and ward boundaries should be drawn in each local authority in East Sussex.  The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in March 2016 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. The new boundaries will come into force at the next local elections following publication of the Commission’s final recommendations. This meansthat new electoral arrangements for East Sussex County Council will come into effect in May 2017, 2018 for Hastings and 2019 for the other districts in the county.

7.  For councils, like Hastings, that hold elections in two years out of every four, the Commission has a responsibility, set out in legislation, to devise a pattern of two-member wards across the whole authority. Such a ward pattern means that every elector would have the same opportunity to vote in local elections each time they are held. However, the Commission is able to move away from a uniform pattern of two-member wards – on a ward by ward basis - if it believes an alternative arrangement would better meet its other statutory criteria: to deliver electoral equality for voters, to reflect the interests and identities of local communities and to promote effective and convenient local government.

8.  Members of the public can have their say on their district or county division boundaries by writing to:

The Review Officer (East Sussex)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th floor, Millbank Tower
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk  

Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE

Go directly to the Commission’s consultation portal at: www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk

Link to dedicated web page for each council via: www.lgbce.org.uk

For further information contact the Commission’s press office on: 0330 500 1525 / 1250 or email: press@lgbce.org.uk