Consultation area FAQs
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England was established by Parliament under the provisions of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. The Commission is directly accountable to Parliament through a committee of MPs chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
To sustain fair electoral arrangements and keep the map of English local government in good order.
We are an independent body that consults and decides on the most appropriate electoral arrangements for Local Government.
We promote openness, integrity and rigour in all of our dealings.
We use our resources responsibly and always strive to do things better.
In order to achieve its aims, the Commission carries out three main types of review:
Electoral reviews: these are reviews of the electoral arrangements of local authorities: the number of councillors, the names, number and boundaries of wards and electoral divisions and the number of councillors to be elected to each.
Principal Area Boundary Reviews (PABRs): these are reviews of the boundaries between local authorities. The scale of a PABR can range from addressing a minor boundary anomaly (e.g. where the boundary has not kept pace with the development of neighbouring authorities) to whole-council mergers.
Structural reviews: advising the Secretary of State, at his request, on proposals he receives from local authorities to change from two-tier to unitary local government.
This part of our website deals with electoral reviews only. You can find out more about the other types of review on our main website.
If you want to have your say on one of our reviews, you can do so through this consultation area. Alternatively, you can write to us at:
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
London SW1P 4QP
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone us on: 0330 500 1525
No. We are a completely independent body, and are not part of a Government department. Commission members are not permitted to conduct any political activity or have any party affiliation.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England only deals with the electoral arrangements and boundaries of local authorities in England. We have no role to play in setting parliamentary boundaries which are the responsibility of the Boundary Commission for England whose website gives more information about their work.
There are two main reasons why we might be conducting an electoral review of your area:
The Commission will often carry out a review in local authority areas which have high levels of electoral inequality.
The population of any local authority changes constantly with people moving into, and out of, an area as well as movements of people within it. For example, a major housing development in a council ward can increase the number of electors living there in comparison to neighbouring wards. Where the number of electors in a ward becomes significantly larger or smaller, compared to other wards in that local authority, it results in an electoral imbalance where some councillors represent many more voters than others in the same area. Put simply, electoral imbalances mean that the value of your vote varies depending on where you live in the local authority area.
As part of an electoral review, we aim to ensure that the ward or division boundaries of a local authority are such that each councillor represents roughly the same number of electors.
We also carry out reviews on request. For example, councils may wish to make changes to their electoral arrangements in order to improve the way they represent and serve people in their area. Examples of requests to the Commission for reviews include:
- Some councils believe that they have too many or too few councillors for them to work most effectively and will ask us to conduct a review with a view to increasing or decreasing the number of elected members representing the authority.
- Some councils which have wards represented by more than one councillor wish to change to wards which cover a smaller area and are represented by one councillor. These are known as 'single member ward reviews' or 'single member division reviews' for county councils.
No. The review is concerned with electoral matters only; all the above factors are decided by other organisations or factors.
Yes. The review will determine your ward/division and, in some cases, your parish ward and you can only vote for candidates who stand for election in those electoral areas. It is for the local political organisations, however, to decide who they want to stand as their candidate in any particular ward/division or for individuals to stand as independent candidates.
Not directly, but this is a matter for your council, which conducts polling district reviews. They usually conduct such a review after any changes to the number or pattern of wards/divisions in the area. We do not base our recommendations on the current location of polling places.
We usually implement new electoral arrangements in the authority's normal year of election. However, we can make necessary changes to the years in which parish and town council elections take place to ensure that they do so in the same years as district elections in associated district wards.
Local authorities can opt to change their electoral cycle with the permission of the Department for Communities and Local Government.
We believe that a fresh mandate is necessary for a council that has had an electoral review. Also, even if a new ward has the same boundaries as an old ward, the new ward may return a different share of the total number of councillors on the council. Therefore, we will abolish all of the existing wards and establish new ones that will come into force at a whole-council election.
Each electoral review focuses on a single local authority and will only consider the electoral arrangements of that council. Consequently, if we are reviewing a district we will not be altering any county division boundaries, and vice versa. We have no involvement with parliamentary constituency boundaries, which are reviewed by the Boundary Commission for England - a separate body.
At the next scheduled whole-council elections in the relevant parishes, unless we decide that there can be whole-council elections in those parishes before the scheduled elections. Parish electoral arrangements come into force at the same time as county or district electoral arrangements only if the parish elections take place at the same time as county or district elections.
Not as part of an electoral review. For parish boundary changes, the local district council can conduct a review and implement the recommendations, under the provisions of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. We can conduct boundary reviews of district or county councils, either at the request of the Secretary of State, at the request of the relevant authority or if we identify boundary anomalies which in our view warrant a review.
The Commission provides maps of its recommendations in pdf format on our main website which gives an overview of our recommendations for the whole authority. We also produce paper copies of the maps to local authorities to distribute to local libraries and council buildings.
If you need to see the proposed electoral boundaries in more detail and you have access to a GIS application to view electronic maps, then you may wish to contact Ordnance Survey's Boundary Helpline on 023 8030 5092.