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Electoral Review: Review of Borough Electoral Arrangements

Runnymede Borough is currently divided into 14 wards, each of which is served by three elected Councillors. As a council we strongly believe this is the most appropriate figure to allow members to carry out their duties, engage with residents and help future proof the Borough as its population ages and grows.

Following cuts to local authority funding after the 2008 global financial crash, it was felt retaining 42 members would ensure the council could achieve its strategic aims without impacting its ability to deliver services or reduce engagement between residents and councillors.

Runnymede operates under a committee system, each with its own unique range of responsibilities. Cutting the number of councillors would have an adverse effect on members' ability to dedicate their time to these.

The Borough experimented with an executive approach in 2000/01 but the committee system has been preferred since as it gives a greater number of councillors roles in the decision-making process.

A two part review

However, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE)  has initiated an electoral review of the existing ward patterns across the borough.

Reviews are normally carried out to improve electoral equality in an area.

This means ensuring, so far as is reasonable, each councillor on a local authority represents the same number of electors.

Part 1 of the Electoral Review is to recommend the number of councillors sitting on a local authority in order to serve and fulfil duties in the borough.

Runnymede has made a pdf icon Electoral Review Council Size Submission [374kb]  to the LGBCE to keep this at 42 councillors.

The latest consultation

Part 2 of the Electoral Review is to assess our layout and recommend to the LGBCE our proposed-ward arrangement to ensure each division serves a similar number of electors, both now and in the future.

This stage will run from 28 November 2017 to 12 February 2018. During this period, the LGBCE will run its own public consultation, with documentation available on its website.

LGBCE has published a guide to help you make submissions to the commission during public consultation.

Any changes would be made through Statutory Instrument and come into force in May 2019.

It would mean Runnymede Borough Council holding an election of all councillors at one time to select three representatives for each new ward. The council would then revert to its normal pattern of having elections by thirds in 2020 onwards.

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