Residents encouraged to have their say on Stevenage's new political map
- Credit: The Local Government Boundary Commission
The development of a new pattern of wards for Stevenage Borough Council is under way.
The Local Government Boundary Commission - the independent body that draws the boundaries for wards in England - has decided that the number of councillors in Stevenage should remain at 39, and wants to hear what residents and organisations think about their local area.
A 10-week consultation inviting proposals will run until January 31.
The Commission is reviewing Stevenage to make sure councillors represent roughly the same number of electors, and that ward arrangements help the council work effectively - and to ensure that proposals reflect community ties and identities.
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.
Launching the consultation, Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the Commission, said: “We want people in Stevenage to help us.
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“We are starting to draw up new wards for Stevenage. We want our proposals for new electoral arrangements to reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.
“Residents and local organisations can help us understand community ties and identities at this early stage of the process."
Residents can get involved by visiting the Commission's website which boasts an interactive map.
“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved.”