Less councillors and new borders - County’s political map set to change

Photo: The Independent Local Government Boundary Commission (contains Ordnance Survey data)

Photo: The Independent Local Government Boundary Commission (contains Ordnance Survey data) - Credit: Archant

Local people are being asked for their help to draw up a new pattern of council divisions across Suffolk.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission announced what is the first part of an electoral review on Tuesday, September 24.

The Commission has also announced Suffolk should have 70 councillors in the future - five fewer than current arrangements.

In drawing up new boundaries for the county, the Commission says they are hoping to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections, so each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters.

The Commission was formally asked to carry out this review by Suffolk County Council.

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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.

Their review of Suffolk also aims to ensure that the new council divisions reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across the county.

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Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: "We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new divisions for Suffolk. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.

"If you have a view about which communities or neighbourhoods should be part of the same council division, then we want to hear from you. And if you think a road, river or railway makes for a strong boundary between communities in your part of Suffolk, then this consultation is for you.

"We will carefully consider all evidence that is provided during this phase of the review, whoever it is from and whether it applies to the whole of Suffolk or just a small part of the county.

After receiving feedback, the Commission will publish draft recommendations in March for residents to have a further chance to have their say.

Local people have until 2 December 2019 to submit their views in this consultation.

Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing divisions can be found at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk.

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