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Electoral and Ward Review

HRA members may be interested in this message from Richard Ivory, Solicitor, Service Director: Legal and Business Operations

Southampton and Fareham Legal Services Partnership
Southampton City Council

Tel: 023 8083 2794
Email: richard.ivory@southampton.gov.uk

Email: highfieldracomms@gmail.com, or hra.honsec@gmail.com
or direct to Richard Avory.

“I am writing to let you know that the Local Government Boundary Commission for England started its 10 week public consultation on our electoral review today, which runs until 31st January 2022. Following our detailed submission on council size in October, the Commission is recommending that the council’s size needs to increase and is consulting on the public’s views on an additional ward and 3 extra councillors for Southampton taking us to 17 wards and 51 councillors from our current size of 16 wards and 48 councillors.

The consultation is also focusing on our internal ward boundaries and what these boundaries may look like in the future, taking into account 3 key factors –  electoral equality, community identity and interests and effective and convenient local government. For more information on the review and how the Commission will determine our ward boundaries please see below or follow this link to the commission’s website Local Government Boundary Commission for England Consultation Portal (lgbce.org.uk)

Next steps

Similar to the first stage of this review when we were compiling our evidence base for council size, we will again be meeting with councillors on the Electoral Review Task and Finish Group (Cllrs Houghton and Galton and Cllrs Noon and Mitchell) to discuss options and put forward recommendations before Full Council. Between now and the middle of January we will be trying to reach cross party consensus on our council ward boundaries taking into account the 3 factors outlined above. Given the Christmas and New Year break and lead in time for Council this doesn’t in fact leave a great deal of time. As before, we would appreciate Conservative and Labour councillors expressing their views on ward boundaries through their Task and Finish Group representatives so that we can form a detailed picture of members’ views.

There is nothing to stop individual councillors, or groups, also submitting their own feedback on council ward boundaries as part of the consultation process, but it is recommended, as with the previous phase of this electoral review, that the council reaches a consensus on this issue that both political groups can agree on. The Commission has been very clear that any recommendations relating to ward boundaries which are politically motivated, and aimed at benefitting a particular political group, will not be considered by the Commission as a valid factor. The Commission are politically neutral and they make their decision on ward boundaries based purely on the 3 criteria as outlined above and all 3 factors have equal weighting.

As mentioned above it will require a Special Council meeting to decide on the final submission towards the end of January. We will canvass for suitable dates shortly.”

Have your say on Southampton City Council’s Ward Boundaries: Public Consultation to 31 January 2022

Posted by on Dec 6, 2021 in Electoral and Ward Review

  Have your say on our ward boundaries The Local Government Boundary Commission for England are asking local people and organisations for their help to draw up new ward boundaries across Southampton. A public consultation is ongoing and ends...

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