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.