Agenda item

Introductory presentation


Nick Hughes, Committee Services Manager gave a presentation to the working party and made the following points:


·  It was important to start work now due to the number of activities to be undertaken for the review;

·  Periodically the Local Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) (the Commission) reviews electoral boundaries;

·  Thanet last had its review in 2001;

·  Such reviews should be done every eight years;

·  The purpose of these reviews is to address the poor levels of electoral equality;

·  There was a need to ensure that all wards were within 10% of all of the electors in the district;


·  For example, Bradstowe Ward had -11% whilst Salmerstone had +11% and Pegwell Ward had +12%. This review was meant to address these inequalities;

·  The Council had to submit to the Commission the following documents:

§  Geocoded electoral register;

§  Geocoded polling district map;

§  Forecast electorate for 2030 by polling district;

§  Details of electorate parish arrangements.

·  All these documents should be provided by 30 January 2024;

·  The Council would need to create a database of the following interest groups:

§  Neighbourhood forums;

§  Hard to reach groups;

§  Civil societies;

§  Single issue groups;

§  Public bodies.

·  The review process was divided into two parts:

§  To determine the councillor numbers;

§  To determine the ward arrangements.


·  The council would then need to create a representation document indicating their view regarding the above;

·  The proposals should be for a sufficient number of councillors to enable effective decision making; i.e. the Council should end up with enough councillors to have adequate committee memberships on various Council committees that include Scrutiny, Planning, Cabinet and Outside bodies and partnerships;

·  These representations needed to be evidence based and had to be based on the correct evidence;

·  The draft representation document had to be submitted by 02 January 2024;

·  The finalised document had to be submitted by 20 January 2024;

·  Other interested parties or bodies could still submit their representations to the Commission;


·  Ward patterns needed to be within 10% of each ward’s elector numbers in order to attain equality for voters;

·  These proposals had to factor in community identities and interest;

·  These proposals should aim to build effective and convenient local government structures;

·  There should be no major infrastructure barriers like a railway line cutting through the ward;

·  The consultation on ward patterning would be from 19 March 2024 to 27 May 2024;

·  Consultation of the draft recommendations would be from 03 September 2024 to 11 November 2024;

·  The finalised recommendations from the review would be published in February 2025;

·  The Parliamentary Order to amend the district electoral boundaries would be made in Spring 2025;

·  The new electoral boundaries arrangements would be used for the Local Government elections in May 2027;

·  The outcome of this review should create effective representation. Proposals should be rational and not assertions. The Commission would like to know what the district wanted not what it did not want. They would like the Council to present practical examples to back up proposals;

·  The Commission would not be considering political consequences, parliamentary boundaries, post codes, addresses or house prices.


Members made comments and asked questions as follows:


·  Will the review take into account new housing development?

·  Were parish boundaries important for this exercise?

·  Council data bases within the Council’s possession like from Regeneration and Community Services be used for this review?

·  Council the Council put forward new names for new wards?

·  At this stage there was a need for the Council to come up with a consensus position regarding the number of councillors that the Council would like to propose;

·  Was the Council allowed to propose the number of councillors for each ward?


Nick Hughes responded as follows:


·  It was about forecasting the elector number by 2030 and yes, any housing development would be taken into consideration as long as it was realistic to indicate that such housing would be occupied by 2030;

·  Parish boundaries were important but they were not part of the building block for this review;

·  The data bases that the Council held could be used;

·  The Commission relied on the local communities for names of wards;

·  Officers would go back to check with the Commission if it was acceptable for the Council to propose the number of councillors for each ward.


More detail was contained in the presentation slides attached to this minute item.


Members noted the presentation.

Supporting documents: