Should West Norfolk council lose eight members?
- Credit: IAN BURT
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for King's Lynn and West Norfolk.
It's the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the borough.
The commission has also announced it is 'minded to recommend' that the council should have 54 councillors - eight fewer than it currently does.
The commission says it now needs information from people and groups across the borough to help it to produce a new pattern of wards to accommodate 54 councillors.
It aims to deliver 'electoral equality' for voters in council elections - meaning each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. The review also aims to ensure that the new council wards reflect the identities of communities.
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Prof Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: 'We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for West Norfolk. 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 ward, 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 King's Lynn and West Norfolk, then this consultation is for you.
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'Your views will make a difference. 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 King's Lynn and West Norfolk or just a small part of the borough.' Ray Harding, chief executive of the borough council, said: 'We are pleased that the LGBC have accepted the council's submission on councillor numbers.
'We look forward to beginning the task of drawing up proposals for new boundaries, in which we will seek to balance the competing priorities of achieving equality of representation amongst voters, with the need to ensure that ward boundaries reflect natural communities and parish boundaries.
'We will be starting this process shortly with a meeting of the electoral review task group in July.'
People have until September 4 to submit their views. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found here.