December 21st, 2013 |
There’s Boundary Changes Coming….
As reported at Full District Council last week, there is going to be a review of all the council ward boundaries in our district, because Downhall and Rawreth , and Rochford wards have too many people, and Barling & Sutton, Grange and Trinity wards don’t have enough:
2.1 The Chair and Chief Executive of the Local Government Boundary
Commission for England (LGBCE) have met with the Leader of the Council
and the Chief Executive to discuss the high level timeline for the Electoral
2.2 The LGBCE have decided to undertake a review as 5 of the Council’s wards
have an electoral variance in excess of 10% from the average for the authority
(based on October 2012 data). There are:-
Barling and Sutton, Grange and Trinity wards that are over-represented;
Downhall and Rawreth and Rochford wards that are under-represented
2.4 The first key factor to determine will be:-
2.4.1 whether the Council retains the elections by third system, in which case the
presumption made by the LGBCE will for a uniform pattern of 3 member
2.4.2 whether the Council opts for all-out elections every four years, in which case
the Council would be able to retain a selection of 1, 2 and 3 member wards.
2.5 Should the Council wish to move to all-out elections, the Council would need
to consult on the option. It would then have to pass a resolution at a Council
meeting specially convened for the purpose by a majority of two-thirds of the
Members voting on it. This work would need to be completed by March 2014
(see paragraph 2.6 below).
2.6 The next factor for the Council to consider will be the number of Members
necessary to carry out business effectively having regard to the Executive
decision – making arrangements, regulatory and scrutiny functions and the
representational role of Councillors, both in terms of ward work and
representing the Council on outside bodies. The LGBCE will expect the
Council to consider this not just in the context of the Council’s current
arrangements but also likely future trends or plans for five to ten years hence.
The Council will need to make a decision on this in March 2014 and will send
views to the LGBCE. The LGBCE have made the point that in any
submission, the arguments made must be evidence driven with a clear
At the moment we have a few small wards with only one district councillor (such as Barling and Sutton). Most wards have two councillors (such as all the Rayleigh wards) There are also some larger, three-councillor wards (such as Hullbridge). In most years, one third of the council comes up for election. (the exceptions to this are years like 2013, when we had county council elections instead).
So it’s possible that we will see the whole of the district being in three-member wards, with every councillor being elected at the same time, once every four years. It’s also very likely that once district ward boundaries have been decided, the commission will then look at parish councils.