Update: Members of the public now have until 16th June 2016 to comment on the draft recommendations. In September final recommendations will be published.
Under proposals for a review of electoral wards in East Sussex, Wealden District Council is proposing to reduce the number of councillors by 10 to 45. At present there are 55 councillors for the district elected in 35 wards.
The Commission believes the number of County Councillors representing the District should be increased by one.
At present in Crowborough there are eight councillors representing five wards. Under Wealden District Council’s proposals there will be just one councillor for each of six new wards:
- Crowborough St Johns
- Crowborough North
- Crowborough Jarvis Brook
- Crowborough South East
- Crowborough Central
- Crowborough South West
All of the new wards in Crowborough are within the existing town boundary. The working party felt that then there are more than one councillors for a ward, it can get confusing for the public as to who their representative is and may lead to duplication of effort on the part of the Councillors.
The Council are trying to ensure each councillor represents roughly the same number of electors as others in the District.
Councillor Nick Collinson, Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Human Resources said:
Our proposed ward changes have been drawn up by a working party and are based on suggestions from Members taking into account changes in the electorate projected up to 2021. Our proposal to the Boundary Commission is based on an average ward electorate of 2,909, with each ward represented by one member.
The reduction in the number of Wealden District Councillors to 45 is to be welcomed. It will mean a more streamlined, efficient system of local government, that reflects local interests while reducing the burden to the taxpayer.
Our proposal has been discussed by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet. It is important to note that these proposals have no effect on parish and town council boundaries, but we do feel, when it comes to District representation, they best represent the identities and interests of the local communities that make up Wealden. Ours may be one of a number proposals put forward to the Commission.
The proposed electoral boundary changes will be discussed at a meeting of Wealden’s Full Council today (Wednesday 25th November).
Local people have until 30th November 2015 to submit their views on electoral boundaries to the Local Government Boundary Commission. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing divisions and wards can be found on the Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s website, www.lgbce.org.uk.
The Commission will then publish its draft recommendations in March 2016 and open a further phase of consultation with local people. The new boundaries will come into force at the next local elections following publication of the Commission’s final recommendations.