Published Friday, 15th December 2017
Ward boundaries and electoral arrangements for Reigate & Banstead Borough Council are to undergo a review in 2018, led by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).
The independent review is to address differences in population and resident to councillor ratio between wards that have arisen as a result of new developments and a growing population. It will also take account of changes in local government structure since the last review 20 years ago, in 1997/1998, as well as expected future population growth.
The review will look at:
- Council size - the number of councillors needed to ensure an efficient and effective structure is in place
- Ward patterns - boundaries, ward names and number of councillors representing each ward
The Council’s proposals on future council size, agreed by Full Council on 14 December 2017, recommend reducing the number of councillors from 51 to 45, with each ward being represented by three councillors. This would result in the number of wards reducing from 19 to 15. The proposal also recommends continuing to elect a third of councillors each year, with elections held in three out of four years.
Cllr Dr Lynne Hack, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Council’s Boundary Review Working Group, said: “The review aims to ensure that each councillor represents a similar number of people so that everyone’s vote in council elections is equal, no matter where you live. Currently some wards are represented by fewer councillors than others and the population has become disproportionate to the number of councillors representing them.
“This will be a positive opportunity to shape the future of your council. When the time comes we want as any people as possible to have their say so that the Commission understands the nature of our communities and local circumstances so they can be taken into account.”
The review process will take around a year to complete and includes at least two phases of public consultation.
The Council’s proposals will now be submitted to the LGBCE for their consideration in drawing up their draft recommendations. A ten week public consultation will follow from 30 January 2018 to 9 April 2018.
A further phase of consultation on ward boundaries and ward names will take place between June and August 2018.
For more information about the ward boundary review process visit Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s website.