Newbiggin by the Sea Town Council Ľ

Change the page appearance to:    Printer friendly version. Opens in a new window.

Newbiggin Town Council Logo

Proposed Boundary Changes

Boundary changes for the 2013 election

Community Governance Review for Newbiggin by the Sea Town Council

Changes to Electoral Arrangements

Boundary map 1.

Boundary map 2.

PDF copy of this notice.

Principal Councils, such as Northumberland County Council, have powers to conduct community governance reviews about such matters as the creation of Parish Councils and their electoral arrangements.

Newbiggin Town Council has asked the County Council to undertake a Community Governance Review for Newbiggin by-the-Sea with the intention of re-establishing a more balanced split of the Wards in the town.

When the Council was first established in April 2009, the local electorate was divided almost equally between the East and West Wards in line with the former Wansbeck District wards. Each ward had four town councillors.

The County Councilís Ward boundaries (known as Divisions) were independently reviewed in 2010 and changes were made. The law requires that any Town Council wards have to match those of the County Council Divisions. This review had the effect of dividing the electorate 80%:20% while retaining four town councillors in each Ward. This runs contrary to the primary principle of democratic electoral representation whereby councillors should represent, as near as possible, the same number of electors.

New Ward

Councillor/elector ratio

Variance from average

Projected growth over the next 5 years

Newbiggin East

1:620

+5.6%

+1.3%

Newbiggin North

1:624

+6.3%

+1.3%

Newbiggin South

1:626

+6.6

+1.3%

Newbiggin West

1:478

-18%

+1.3%

Discussions have been held between the Town Council and the County Council to rectify the problem. Whilst both councils must still observe the legal requirements, new Wards can be created within County Council Divisions to provide greater electoral equality.

The proposed changes are as follows:

Proposed New Ward

Estimated Electorate

Newbiggin Town Councilís Proposed Number of Councillors

Newbiggin East

1241

2

Newbiggin North

1248

2

Newbiggin South

1252

2

Newbiggin West

957

2

TOTAL

4698

8

The average number of electors per councillor is 1:587. The table below shows how that ratio varies in each ward and what the future variation might be in five yearsí time. Our electorate forecast takes into account projected growth in the population and any new housing developments. The percentage increase is small because of the recession and the fact that the population growth for the county is low.

If these proposals are agreed they will come into effect for the next Town Council elections in May 2013.

A copy of the map showing details of the proposed new arrangements can be inspected at Town Council Cottage, Front Street and Newbiggin Library, Gibson Street, Newbiggin by-the-Sea, or on the Town Councilís website.

An essential feature of community governance reviews is consulting with local electors and other stakeholders in the area subject to review. The timetable for the review is as follows:

September 2012: Issue press release and publish notices within the Parish

1 November 2012: Deadline for any comments/objections

5 December 2012: Report to Council informing it of the outcome of the review

End of December 2012: Making of the relevant order, subject to the Council's decision

Contact

If you have any comments on the proposals, they should be submitted in writing by 1st November 2012 to:

Lesley Bennett
Team Leader (Governance/People),
Democratic Services,
Northumberland County Council,
County Hall,
Morpeth,
Northumberland,
NE61 2EF

E-mail: Lesley.Bennett@northumberland.gcsx.gov.uk

Map of proposed new ward areas

The plan, plus another one showing a close-up on the central conurbation of Newbiggin by the Sea, will be available for inspection at the Council Cottage offices every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm until (and including) Wednesday 31st October. It will also be available at the Newbiggin Library, and on both the Town Council's website.