CONSULTATION - ELECTORAL REVIEW OF SOUTH CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has formally commenced an electoral review of South Cambridgeshire 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.
The Commission is carrying out a review to deliver electoral equality for voters across the district. At present, some 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 South Cambridgeshire District Council. In particular, it will propose:
- The total number of councillors elected to the council in the future.
- The number of wards.
- The number of councillors representing each ward.
- Ward boundaries.
- Names of wards.
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, 24 November 2015, is the start of a 10 week public consultation during which the Commission is inviting proposals for new warding arrangements. The consultation will close on 1 February 2016. After considering all representations made during this consultation, the Commission intends to publish draft recommendations in May 2016. There will then be a further period of consultation on the draft recommendations. Final recommendations are expected to be published in September 2016. The new electoral arrangements will come into effect at the local elections in 2018.
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 45 councillors should be elected to South Cambridgeshire District Council in the future. It is now inviting proposals to help it draw up a pattern of wards to accommodate 45 councillors.
In drawing up a pattern of wards, the Commission must balance three criteria, which are set out in law, namely:
· To deliver electoral equality where each 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 your submission is supported by evidence. For example, if you wish to argue that two parishes should be included in the same 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 towww.lgbce.org.uk to find out more.
Posted by Parish Clerk.