The Local Government Boundary Commission is undertaking a 10-week public consultation inviting proposals for new council divisions and division boundaries for Durham County Council.
The consultation will close on 30 January 2023.
Once they have considered all representations made to them during this consultation, they will publish draft recommendations in April 2023.
They will then hold a further period of consultation on the draft recommendations. Final recommendations are expected to be published in September 2023.
The new electoral arrangements will come into effect at the local elections in May 2025.
If you represent a local organisation or community group in Durham, please pass this message on to your members or anyone who you think might be interested in the review.
What is an electoral review?
The electoral review will recommend new electoral arrangements for Durham County Council. It will propose:
- the total number of councillors elected to the council in the future;
- the number of divisions;
- the number of councillors representing each division;
- division boundaries; and
- the names of divisions.
How to get involved
This is a public consultation seeking views from individuals and organisations across Durham on where they think new division boundaries should be drawn.
They are minded to recommend that 98 councillors should be elected to Durham County Council in the future. This is 28 fewer than the current number of councillors.
They are now inviting proposals to help us draw up a pattern of divisions to accommodate 98 councillors.
In drawing up new electoral divisions, they must balance three legal criteria, namely:
- to deliver electoral equality: where each councillor represents roughly the same number of electors as others across the county;
- that the pattern of divisionsshould, as far as possible, reflect the interests and identities of local communities;
- that the electoral arrangements should provide for effective and convenient local government.
They will treat all submissions equally, and judge each case on its merits and against the legal criteria.
If you wish to put forward a view, we would also urge you to ensure that evidence supports your submission.
For example, if you wish to argue that two areas should be included in the same electoral divisions, make sure you tell us why they should be together, providing evidence about community facilities, ties, organisations, and amenities, rather than simply asserting that they belong together.
There is more advice on our website about how you can get involved in the consultation.
Their website features technical guidance that explains the process and policies, as well as guidance on how to take part in each part of the process.
We have also set up a webpage dedicated to the review of Durham, where you can find all the relevant information.
You can also access interactive maps of the current ward boundaries across Durham on our specialist consultation portal. The portal also allows you to comment and upload documents directly to the site.
Get in touch
We welcome comments on division arrangements by 30 January 2023. Representations should be made:
– Through their interactive consultation portal, where you can explore the maps of the recommendations and make comments;
– By email to firstname.lastname@example.org;
– Or in writing to Review Officer (Durham), LGBCE, PO Box 133, Blyth, NE24 9FE