Residents are being invited to have their say on plans to redraw Stoke-on-Trent’s political map.
The Local Government Boundary Commission is in the process of revising the city’s wards, to ensure that all electors are equally represented on Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
At the moment the council has 44 councillors representing 37 different wards – 31 single member wards, five two-member wards and one three-member wards.
Every ward should have a similar number of electors per councillor. But the review was triggered when it was found that Hanley Park and Shelton ward had a variance of -44 per cent from the average – possibly due to large number of student households in the area and the impact of individual electoral registration.
Reducing this variance in Hanley Park and Shelton will mean changing the boundaries of wards in the city.
The commission has decided that the number of councillors will remain at 44 – in line with the city council’s own recommendation.
But changes to ward boundaries will mean that some residents could be represented by different councillors after the next election. The commission is now looking to gather the views of local residents and organisations to help ensure its proposals properly reflect local geography and community ties.
A 10-week consultation will run until March 15, after which a set of draft proposals will be published.
Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the commission, said: “We want people in Stoke-on-Trent to help us.
“We are starting to draw up new wards for Stoke-on-Trent. We want our proposals for new electoral arrangements to reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.
“Residents and local organisations can help us understand community ties and identities at this early stage of the process.
“It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website. Or you can e-mail or write to us.
“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved.”
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The commission wants residents to say which facilities they share, such as parks or schools, and what local issues neighbouring communities have in common. The commission is also interested in learning about new housing developments, and whether there are features such as roads or rivers that could form strong boundaries between neighbourhoods.
The draft recommendations for Stoke-on-Trent City Council will be published later in the year, with a second round of consultation on these proposals set to run between June and August.
The final recommendations will be published in October, with the new ward boundaries due to come into effect ahead of the 2023 local elections.
Residents can take part on the consultation by visiting https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/24345