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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 18 November, 2013

 

Report of the Leader

 

Electoral Review Programme 2014

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To update Members on the proposed timetable for the implementation of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales's (LDBCW) electoral review programme, beginning in 2014. This is in line with the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013, which requires the Commission to publish a ten year programme of electoral reviews.

Recommendations

1.         That the contents of the report be noted.

2.         That Cabinet agree to commission the LDBCW to conduct the Vale of Glamorgan Community Review on behalf of the Council.

3.         That a review of Sully electoral arrangements is conducted by the Council in 2014.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To inform Members of the proposed electoral review programme.

2.         To ensure the Community Review is carried out by an experienced and impartial organisation.

3.         To comply with Sully Community Council's request for an early review of the number of Community Councillors.

 

Background

2.         The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013 requires the Commission to publish a ten year programme of electoral reviews.  Attached at Annex A is the Commission's proposed timetable for conducting the reviews and the assessment of Councils informing the review programme. 

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         In February 2013 the Commission set about analysing the information it had obtained from principal Councils and the relevant factors considered necessary to develop a ten year programme of electoral reviews for the 22 principal Councils of Wales.  There are two types of review.

Community Review 

4.         The purpose of the Community Review is to determine what changes (if any) to the boundaries or electoral arrangements of communities may be desirable in the interest of effective and convenient local government, and to make recommendations. Consideration should be given to the location of community boundaries and whether a community should continue to be represented by a Community Council, and, if it should remain, whether the number of councillors to be elected is suitable for providing effective representation for the community.  Consideration will also be given to communities without a Community Council. 

5.         The last Community Boundary Review for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was conducted by the LDBCW in 2009.

6.         The proposed timetable for conducting the next Community Review for the Vale of Glamorgan is between October 2015 and March 2017 (See Appendix B contained within Annex A). 

7.         The review process will include a full consultation with residents, mandatory consultees and third parties.  A report containing recommendations, details of how the review was conducted and details of any changes made will be published.

8.         Any changes arising out of the Community Review in terms of boundaries can be implemented immediately by order of the Council. 

9.         Changes to the number of Councillors for the community and/or community ward will not be implemented until 2021.

10.      The Community Review will overlap with the combined Welsh Assembly and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in 2016.

11.      Although principal Councils have the responsibility of conducting Community Reviews, they may if they wish commission the LDBCW to do so on their behalf.  It is recommended that the Boundary Commission undertake the Community Review on behalf of the Council. This will come with an associated cost - see paragraph 18.

12.      As a request from Sully Community Council has already been received to review the number of Community Councillors, it is recommended that a review solely of the electoral arrangements of Sully Community Council is conducted in 2014 by the Council.

13.      Any changes as a result of the Sully electoral arrangements review will be implemented at the next Local Government elections (May 2017).

Electoral Review (County)

14.      The purpose of the Electoral Review is to review the electoral arrangements for the County of the Vale of Glamorgan.  Consideration will be given to the council size, the number and boundaries of electoral divisions, the number of councillors elected for each electoral division and the name of any electoral division.

15.      The last Electoral Review for the Vale of Glamorgan Council was conducted in 2001.

16.      Electoral Reviews are conducted by the LDBCW. The attached timetable states that the next Electoral Review for the Vale of Glamorgan will be undertaken between July 2018 and December 2019.

17.      Any changes as a result of the Electoral Review will be implemented at the following Local Government elections (May 2021).

18.      The LDBCW has proposed that the number of county councillors for the Vale of Glamorgan should be increased from 47 to 51 (See Appendix A contained with Annex A).  This is in line with the Council Size consultation currently being conducted by LDBCW - final proposals are yet to be published. The figure is provisional and will be used as a guide only.  

19.      The Electoral Review will overlap with the 2019 European Elections.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

20.      It is recommended that the LDBCW undertake the Community Review on the Council's behalf. The cost of the Commission undertaking this review will be in the region of £50,000 although this is an estimate only. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

21.      None directly

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

22.      The electoral reviews will be conducted according to statutory requirements

Crime and Disorder Implications

23.      None directly

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

24.      All new paperwork will be available in English and Welsh

Corporate/Service Objectives

25.      Service Objective - To successfully undertake the Community Review and assist the LDBCW with their Electoral Review.

Policy Framework and Budget

26.      This report is for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

27.      None directly

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

28.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

The Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013

 

Contact Officer

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

01446 709760

 

Officers Consulted

Electoral Registration Officer

Head of Democratic Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies - Managing Director

 

 

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