Residents looking to comment on changes to Crawley’s county council divisions have until next Monday to have their say.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is carrying out an electoral review of West Sussex County Council, which will mean redrawing its boundaries and deciding its future size.
The council itself is set to make its own recommendations, but when councillors discussed draft proposals last month they prompted strong disagreement between Crawley’s Conservative and Labour representatives.
Residents have until Monday August 31 to comment and the commission says it will aim to publish draft recommendations in November.
Proposed changes would see the Maidenbower division gain Worth but lose some of Pound Hill South, Southgate and Crawley Central would be deleted while Northgate and West Green would be created, Gossops Green would lose Ifield East but gain most of Southgate, and Langley Green would lose West Green and gain most of Ifield East.
Max Caller, chair of the commission, said: “We will consider every submission we receive from local people before we draw up draft recommendations. We will then open another phase of consultation on those proposals in November.
“Don’t miss this chance to have your say on how your council is run.”
At last month’s county council meeting Sue Mullins (Lab, Gossops Green and Ifield East), whose division could be amalgamated with another, argued that the Conservatives had put their heads together to ‘completely redraw the Crawley boundaries’, and described proposals as a ‘mishmash’ that ‘gerrymandered’ voting patterns towards the ruling Tory group.
But Richard Burrett (Con, Pound Hill and Worth) said that they had spent a ‘huge amount of time’ on proposals and explained that the boundary commission’s number one criteria was electoral equality across all the divisions.
Because of the new Forge Wood development changes to the divisions were necessary to ensure that county councillors represented roughly the same amount of Crawley residents each.
Consultation responses should be sent to: The Review Officer (West Sussex), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 14th floor, Millbank Tower, London SW1P 4QP, emailled to firstname.lastname@example.org, or residents can visit https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/5384
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