Slimmed down Council?

Proposed boundary changes to council wards could mean six fewer councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people across the district to comment on its draft proposals for new council ward boundaries.

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The Commission’s plans would mean six fewer councillors elected to the council in future as well as changes to the boundaries of 29 local wards.

An eleven-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on 19 February 2018. The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Bath and North East Somerset.

The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that the Bath and North East Somerset Council should have 59 councillors in the future, six fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent one three-councillor ward, 21 two-councillor wards and 14 one-councillor wards across Bath and North East Somerset.

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk andwww.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.

Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Bath and North East Somerset and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.

“Over the next eleven weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.

“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live.

“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Bath and North East Somerset and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government to local people.

“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole council area or just part of it.”

The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations for Bath and North East Somerset. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write or email us by 19 February 2018:

The Review Officer (Bath and North East Somerset)

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

14th floor, Millbank Tower

London

SW1P 4QP

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter @LGBCE

Have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/9913

Link to the dedicated web page for the Bath and North East Somerset electoral review: www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-west/somerset/bath-and-north-east-somerset

 

For your information:

  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 Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Bath and North East Somerset to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. The council area currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer, voters than other members of the council.
  3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
  • Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?
  • How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?
  • Are the names of the proposed wards right?
  1. The electoral review of Bath and North East Somerset Council is a separate undertaking from the review of parliamentary constituency boundaries which is being carried out by a separate body (Boundary Commission for England) under different rules and legislation.
  2. Residents have from 5 December 2017 until 19 February 2018 to have their say on the draft recommendations. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in May 2018. Once the Commission agrees its final recommendations it will lay a draft order in both Houses of Parliament.  Parliament will then have 40 days in which to consider the recommendations. If both Houses are satisfied with the recommendations, the draft order will be ‘made’ and the new wards will come into effect at the council elections in May 2019.

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