The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is carrying out an electoral review of Blackburn with Darwen.
The Commission have agreed the new Council size for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council from May 2018 of 51 Councillors in 17 Wards. The paper outlining these proposals is available to view here.
An electoral review examines and proposes new electoral arrangements for the whole local authority. These are:
- The total number of councillors to be elected to the Council (council size)
- The names, number and boundaries of wards
- The number of councillors to be elected from each ward
Electoral reviews look at whether the boundaries of wards or divisions within a local authority need to be altered. In our case the commission felt that a review was necessary to ensure fairer representation at local government elections after any significant changes in the distribution of electors. Blackburn with Darwen meets the commission’s criteria for electoral inequality with 7 of 23 wards having a variance of greater than +/-10%.
Electoral review process
The electoral review will have two distinct parts:
Part one: Council size
Before the commission re-draw ward boundaries, they will come to a view on the total number of councillors to be elected to the council in future. They will come to a conclusion on council size after hearing the Council’s (and/or councillors’) views during the preliminary phase. The commission will not consider ward boundaries until they have completed this phase. The deadline for council and/or council groups’ submission on council size is week commencing October 24, 2016.
Part two: Ward boundaries
The commission will re-draw ward boundaries so that they meet their statutory criteria. The commission will carry out two phases of public consultation on ward boundaries where they will invite you to present your proposals for new ward boundaries.
- Phase one - public consultation on new ward boundaries: 22nd November 2016 – 30th January 2017
- Phase two - public consultation on draft recommendations: 11th April – 19th June 2017
The first phase will ask for proposals on new ward boundaries. The commission will use responses to that consultation to draw up draft recommendations for new boundaries across our area and they will hold a second phase of consultation on those proposals during which time you will be able to comment on them and propose alternatives.
How to have your say
An electoral review is a consultative process. You, and your community, can influence the outcome. The commission have an open mind about adopting proposals from groups or individuals that are supported by evidence and complement the statutory criteria.
In addition to the preliminary phase of the review, when the commission gather information about the Council and assess views on council size, they will hold at least two phases of public consultation.
The commission are only able to consider evidence that is made to them in writing as all decisions are taken by formal meetings of the whole commission. The best evidence includes the reasons why you agree with our proposals or why you disagree with them. If you do not think their proposals are right for our area, we would welcome alternative suggestions for boundaries that meet their criteria.
There are several ways in which you can keep up to date with the progress of the review and to have your say:
You can keep track of the electoral review for your area through our website at www.lgbce.org.uk. The commission have set up a dedicated web page for each review where you will find details of its timetable, our reports, maps, proposals and guidance. You can comment on their proposals directly through their website or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. They also publish all the submissions they receive so you can see what kind of evidence they relied on to make our decisions.
Interactive consultation portal
The portal allows you to view and interact with our maps as well as comment on their proposals directly. By logging on to consultation.lgbce.org.uk you will be able to view their proposals down to street level, draw your own pattern of wards or annotate the maps to tell them about the nature of community interests and identities in your area.