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Boundary Review

Political map of East Staffordshire Borough Council set to change

 

UPDATE - CHANGE OF TIMETABLE

The calling of an election will have implications for the timescales for the current electoral review of East Staffordshire Borough Council

 

Guidance from Central Government puts restrictions on the activities that bodies like the Commission and local councils can undertake during the pre-election period (PEP). This period was formally known as purdah. In particular during the PEP, it is Commission policy not to hold preliminary briefings with group leaders or full council meetings. It is also Commission policy not to start any consultations during the PEP. Furthermore, while consultations that have already commenced can run their course, we acknowledge that the General Election will place a significant burden both on council officers and elected members.

 

Therefore, having carefully considered the timeline for your review, we have decided that it would be appropriate to extend the current consultation by six week from the original closing date of 13 January 2020. We propose that the current consultation now close on 24 February 2020 to accommodate the PEP.

 

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for East Staffordshire Borough Council.

The consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the borough.

The Commission has also announced that East Staffordshire should have 37 councillors in future: 2 fewer than the current arrangements.

Map of East Staffordshire

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 East Staffordshire.

Local people have until 24 February 2019 to submit their views in this consultation. 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.

The Local Government Boundary Commission is carrying out an electoral review of East Staffordshire Borough Council to deliver electoral equality for voters across the borough in local elections. At present, some borough councillors represent many more, or many fewer, electors than their colleagues elsewhere in the borough. The review aims to correct those imbalances.

About electoral reviews:

A review takes around a year to complete and has three main parts:

  1. The Commission will consider evidence from the council (and its groups) on the total number of councillors that should be elected to the authority in future (COMPLETED)
  2. Once the Commission have taken a view on councillor numbers, they will re-draw ward boundaries to accommodate those councillors according to three statutory criteria, namely: that the new wards deliver electoral equality for voters, that they reflect community interests, and that they promote effective local government. We will draw up our final recommendations following two phases of local public consultation.
  3. Once the Commission have published final recommendations for each authority, they will lay a draft order - specific to each council - in both Houses of Parliament under the negative resolution procedure. Subject to the parliamentary scrutiny process, they will then make each order and new boundaries would come into effect at the next election.

Notes:

  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 councils’ external boundaries and structures.
  2. The aim of the ward boundary changes 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?
  1. Residents have from 22 October 2019 until 24 February 2020 to have their say about where ward boundaries for East Staffordshire’s 37 councillors should be drawn. The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in March 2020 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. New wards are scheduled to come into effect at the 2023 council elections.
  2. The electoral review of East Staffordshire Borough 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.
  3. Members of the public can have their say on the new electoral arrangements by writing to:

The Review Officer (East Staffordshire)

LGBCE

1st Floor, Windsor House

50 Victoria Street

London SW1H 0TL

Email: reviews@lgbce.org.uk  

Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE

The reviews will focus only on the internal electoral arrangements of each council. The Commission will not look at the external boundaries of any authority.