Electoral Review

What is an Electoral Review?

An electoral review is an examination of a Council’s electoral arrangements.

The Review is carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (the Commission).  The Commission is an independent statutory body, whose objectives include the provision of electoral arrangements that are fair and that deliver electoral equality for voters.

The work of the Commission is to:

  1. provide electoral arrangements that are fair and deliver electoral equality for voters.
  2. help deliver effective and convenient local government to citizens.

This review is not exclusive to Epsom and Ewell, there are many reviews happening across country.

Why are the Wards being reviewed?

Electoral reviews are carried out to see whether the boundaries of wards within a local authority need to be altered to ensure effective local government and electoral equality. Electoral equality is achieved when all Councillors represent roughly the same number of electors.

The last review was in 1997 and the population in some of the Borough’s Wards has grown more than others. 

The Commission will work to make recommendations on:

  • the number of wards
  • the names of wards
  • where the boundaries between wards should lie
  • the number of Councillors for each ward.

What is the process?

The Commission has produced detailed technical guidance on how it carries out electoral reviews and the information that it takes into account in such a review. The relevant guidance is publicly available on the Commission’s website.

There are a number of key stages in the Electoral review process, and these are set out in the Electoral Review Timetable.

How will the Electoral Review affect Epsom & Ewell residents?

The review may change the electoral warding arrangements within the Borough affecting voters at local elections. At the end of the review there may be more or less wards, wards may change boundaries and be called different names to best describe the area they cover. Some wards may be represented by a different number of Councillors as some have 1, 2 or 3 Councillors depending on how many electors there are in each ward.

The polling station residents’ use could change. After the Commission has published the final recommendations the Council will carry out a review of all polling stations across the Borough.

Consultation on Ward arrangements

The Local Government Boundary Commission has decided that the number of councillors in Epsom & Ewell should be 35. This is a change from the current council which has 38.

The Commission would now like to hear what residents and organisations think about their local area. A 10 week consultation on the proposals will run until 19 July 2021 and a presentation provided to community groups and residents by the Commission regarding the consultation is available below.

The Commission is interested in views on which communities should be part of the same ward. What facilities do people share, such as parks, leisure centres or schools and shopping areas? What issues do neighbouring communities face that they have in common, such as high numbers of visitors or heavy traffic? Have there been new housing or commercial developments that have changed the focus of communities? And are there roads, rivers, railways or other features that people believe form strong boundaries between neighbourhoods?  

The Commission will use local views to help it draw up proposals for new ward boundaries. There will be a further round of consultation once the Commission has drawn up those proposals.

How can the public have a say in the process?

There are various processes within the Electoral Review Timetable, where the public will be consulted, firstly on the views and then on recommendations.

The Commission has lots of information on its website to help anyone who wishes to make a partial or full submission.

The Commission has a dedicated section on its website where people can give their views: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/27356 (link is external)

People can also give their views by e-mail at reviews@lgbce.org.uk(link sends e-mail), and by post:
The Review Officer (Epsom & Ewell)
LGBCE
PO Box 133
Blyth
NE24 9FE

Resources

Local Government Boundary Commission for England presentation to Council, 14 July 2020

Agenda and Minutes of Council meeting, 14 July 2020

Submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England on Council Size - Agenda and Minutes of Council Meeting, 25 March 2021

Local Government Boundary Commission for England presentation to community groups with regard to warding arrangements, 11 May 2021