The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has formally commenced an electoral review of Mid Suffolk District Council. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the review and seek your views on future ward boundaries for the council. You can also find a copy of the letter to the Chief Executive of Mid Suffolk District Council on our website here for further information.
The Commission is carrying out a review to deliver electoral equality for voters across Mid Suffolk. At present, some district councillors represent many more, or many fewer, electors than their colleagues elsewhere in the district. The review aims to correct those imbalances.
What is an electoral review?
The electoral review will recommend new electoral arrangements for Mid Suffolk District Council. It will propose:
For parishes, the review can recommend changes to the electoral arrangements of parish and town councils i.e. the number, names and boundaries of parish wards and the number of parish councillors for each parish ward. However, this is only in circumstances where the parished area is to be divided between wards. Even in these circumstances, the Commission will not normally recommend any change to the number of councillors to be elected to a parish or town council. The Commission has no power to consider changes to the external boundaries of a parish or the creation of new parishes.
Today 13 June 2017 is the start of a 9-week public consultation during which the Commission is inviting proposals for new warding arrangements. The consultation will close on 14 August 2017. After considering all representations made during this consultation, the Commission intends to publish draft recommendations in October 2017. There will then be a further period of consultation on the draft recommendations. Final recommendations are expected to be published in February 2018. The new electoral arrangements will come into effect at the local elections in 2019.
How to get involved?
This is a public consultation and we welcome views from individuals and organisations across the district on where they think new ward patterns should be drawn.
The Commission is minded to recommend that 34 councillors should be elected to Mid Suffolk District Council in the future. It is now inviting proposals to help it draw up a pattern of wards to accommodate 34 district councillors.
In drawing up a pattern of electoral wards, the Commission must balance three criteria, which are set out in law, namely:
· To deliver electoral equality where each district councillor represents roughly the same number of electors as others across the district.
· That the pattern of wards should, as far as possible, reflect the interests and identities of local communities.
· That the electoral arrangements should provide for effective and convenient local government.
We are asking local people and organisations for their views as to the best pattern of wards for the district which meet the requirements set out above.
The Commission will treat all submissions equally and will judge each case on its merits and against the statutory criteria. If you wish to put forward a view, we would also urge you to ensure that evidence supports your submission. For example, if you wish to argue that two parishes should be included in the same electoral ward, make sure you tell the Commission why they should be together, providing evidence about community facilities, ties, organisations, and amenities, rather than simply asserting that they belong together.
There is plenty more advice on our website about how you can get involved in the consultation and put your views forward. Log on to www.lgbce.org.uk to find out more. The website includes the technical guidance that explains the process and our policies as well as guidance on how to take part in each part of the process. We have set up a page on our site which is dedicated to the review of Mid Suffolk where you can find all the relevant information.
You can also access interactive maps of the current ward boundaries across the district on our specialist consultation portal. The portal also allows you to draw your own boundaries, mark areas of interest on the map and upload documents directly to the site. Log on to https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk to access the portal or find it via our main website.
Get in touch
We encourage as many people and organisations as possible to get involved with the consultation and we encourage local organisations and parish councils to engage their local networks and communities in the review.
View interactive maps of the district, draw your own boundaries, and have your say at our specialist consultation portal at: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk.
Find out more about the review at: www.lgbce.org.uk.
Email your views to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us on Twitter at: @lgbce.
Write to: Review Officer (Mid Suffolk)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th Floor Millbank Tower
This phase of consultation closes on 14 August 2017. We will write to you again when the open our consultation on draft recommendations.
Please note that the interests of transparency, copies of the all representations we receive during this review will be placed on our website. We remove any personal identifying information such as signatures and private residential addresses prior to placing any submissions in the public domain.