The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking residents how many councillors they think should represent Cherwell District Council in the future.
The six-week public consultation, which closes on February 17, is the first part of an electoral review which will also consider changes to the number, names and boundaries of the council’s wards. The commission has considered evidence submitted to it by the council and is now consulting residents on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 48 councillors in future – two fewer than the current arrangements.
Commission chairman Max Caller said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future. We are asking people across the district whether they agree that 48 councillors is the right number to represent Cherwell in the future.
“If you don’t agree that Cherwell should be represented by 48 councillors, we want you to tell us your alternative and why you think there should be more, or fewer, members of the council in the future. Once we have taken a view on the number of councillors, we will re-draw ward boundaries to accommodate those elected members and we will ask local people to have their say during that process as well.”
Once it has considered the evidence, the commission will publish its proposal on the total number of councillors in April 2014 and then begin to gather information to help draw up new ward boundaries.
The aim is to publish its draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards for Cherwell in September 2014 when it will consult residents again.
Final recommendations are due to be published in February 2015 and the new electoral arrangements would come into effect for the council elections in 2016.
Further information about the review is available at www.lgbce.org.uk. Residents can have their say directly at consultation.lgbce.org.uk or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org