Have your say on new ward boundaries

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

The ten-week public consultation on the recommendations began on 29 August and will end on 6 November 2017.  The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across the Forest of Dean.

The Commission’s draft recommendations propose that the Forest of Dean should have 38 councillors in the future, ten fewer than the current arrangements. The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent five three-councillor wards, seven two-councillor wards and nine one-councillor wards across the district.

The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/south-west/gloucestershire/forest-of-dean Hard copies of the Commission’s report are available to view at the Forest of Dean District Council Offices, High Street, Coleford, Glos GL16 8HG. 

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

“Over the next ten 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 Forest of Dean 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 district or just part of it.”

The Commission wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations for Forest of Dean. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, please write to the address below or email reviews@lgbce.org.uk by 6 November 2017:

The Review Officer (Forest of Dean)

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

14th floor, Millbank Tower

London

SW1P 4QP

You can also have your say directly through the Commission’s consultation portal: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/9253


Additional 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 local government external boundaries and structures.

 

  1. The Commission is carrying out an electoral review of Forest of Dean District Council to deliver electoral equality for voters in local elections. The district currently has relatively high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represent significantly more, or fewer, voters than other members of the council.

 

  1. 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 Forest of Dean District 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.

 

  1. Residents have from 29 August until 6 November 2017 to have their say about where ward boundaries for Forest of Dean should be drawn. The Commission will consider all submissions and aims to publish its final recommendations in January 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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