Still time to have your say on council shake up
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is currently consulting local people on its draft proposals for new ward boundaries across Darlington. The consultation closes on 20 May 2014.
The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Darlington Council should have 50 councillors in the future, three fewer than the current arrangements. The proposals mean those councillors would represent ten two-member and ten three-member wards across the borough.
The recommendations propose changes to ward boundaries throughout Darlington.
Max Caller, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are asking local people to log on to our website or visit their local library to have a look at our proposals for new boundaries across Darlington. We are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations and to tell us if they agree with the proposals. If you don’t agree with the boundaries we have drawn, we would like to hear your alternatives.
“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in elections to Darlington Council. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of electors so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same regardless of where you live. We also aim to ensure that the council’s wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of local communities.
“We will consider all the submissions we receive whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole of Darlington or just a part of the borough.”
Local people can visit the Commission’s interactive consultation portal at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk to look at detailed maps of the Commission’s proposals and get all the advice they need to make a submission during the consultation.
The full recommendations and detailed maps are also available on the Commission’s main website at /current-reviews/north-east/county-durham/darlington-fer. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps have also been made available to view at council buildings and libraries.
The Review Officer (Darlington)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
76-86 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5LG
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the Commission on Twitter: @LGBCE
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 Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Darlington Borough Council to deliver electoral equality for local voters. The borough currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer voters, than other members of the council. For example, Faverdale ward has 46% more voters in it than the average for the borough. The situation means that the value of your vote, in borough council elections, varies depending on where you live in Darlington.
3. The types of questions the Commission is asking residents at this stage are:
a. Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?
b. How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?
c. Are the names of the proposed wards right?
4. Residents have until 20 May 2014 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Darlington should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in August 2014. 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 2015.