Agenda and minutes

Electoral Review Panel
Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 5.30 pm

Venue: Room 3, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Stacey Gilmour 020 8379 4187  Email: Stacey.gilmour@enfield.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

722.

ELECTION OF CHAIR

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Cllr Nesil Caliskan be elected as Chair of the Electoral Review Panel for the 2018-19 Municipal year.

723.

WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

TheChairwelcomedeveryonetothemeeting and introductions were made.

 

Apologiesfor absence were received from Councillor Vince.

724.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest registered in respect to any items on the agenda.

 

725.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY FOR ENGLAND - ELECTORAL REVIEW REPORT pdf icon PDF 682 KB

To receive the report of Claire Johnson, Head of Governance & Scrutiny regarding the Electoral Review for the London Borough of Enfield.

Minutes:

RECEIVED a report from Claire Johnson, Head of Governance & Scrutiny.

 

NOTED:

 

(i)            The last electoral review in Enfield had taken place and been published by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in 2000. The

(ii)          The current review of Enfield has been triggered by the periodic review criteria.

(iii)         Following the review in 2000 Enfield Council changed from 66 Councillors and 33 Wards, to 63 Councillors and 21 wards. The review provided electoral equality across wards at that time.

(iv)         On the 19th July 2018 the Boundary Commission met with the Leader, Opposition Leader, all members and relevant officers to explain the review process and dates involved. Following this it was agreed that a cross party working group should look at the arrangements and for this group to make recommendations to Council.

(v)          The Electoral Review panel is already as constituted Panel, with cross party membership. The boundary commission’s review of electoral arrangements falls within its remit, so there is no need to set-up a new committee.

(vi)         The electoral review has two parts; Part one: from now until 2nd November 2018 (preliminary stage). This will determine the total number of councillors to be elected to the council in the future. The Boundary Commission will meet on the 20th November 2018 to make its decision on the Council size. Part two of the review, new ward boundaries will then commence.

(vii)        Electoral equality really does drive the review and at present Enfield’s figures for this are very good. When the number of electors per councillor in a ward is within 10% of the average for the authority, the commission refers to the ward as having ‘good electoral equality’

(viii)       Members were advised that the commission bases its decision on the number of electors in a ward and not the total population. However, as part of our submission we can include evidence such as the numbers of children in the borough as well as our elderly population, of which Enfield has fairly high numbers.

 

Following Claire’s update further discussions took place and comparisons were made between Enfield’s projected electorate figures and other boroughs who have recently undergone reviews.

 

The following question was then raised:

 

Q.        Are proposed housing developments taken into consideration for the statistical data in terms of growth by 2024?

A.        This question had been put to the Boundary Commission. However, no concrete answers had been received. The only clarification given was that, at this moment in time, they are only interested in statistical data on the projected numbers of electors in Enfield as at 2024.

 

726.

REVIEW INFORMATION COLLATED TO DATE

To consider and note the information gathered to date and discuss any further information that is required.

Minutes:

Claire Johnson, Head of Governance & Scrutiny briefly updated members on the information collated to date.

 

NOTED

 

(i)            The various information including current electorate equality figures in Enfield, details and outcomes of Reviews recently undertaken in other boroughs, Governance arrangements such as schedule of meetings, the numbers of Councillors appointed to more than one committee as well as figures for the total numbers of members’ enquiries from May 2017 to May 2018. This figure was also broken down by individual Ward.

(ii)          Further evidence is currently being gathered on scrutiny functions, cabinet and/or committee responsibilities, numbers of committees and their workload, delegation to officials, other bodies and plans. Figures are also being collated for Ward Surgeries and Ward Forums.

(iii)         A members’ survey had been drafted and this would shortly be circulated. Members were encouraged to complete this survey detailing how they engage with people, conduct casework and represent the council on local partner organisations. The Commission are interested in hearing about the extent to which members routinely engage with communities and how this affects workload and responsibilities. Therefore, it was hoped that the members’ survey would provide this qualitative data which will enable us to build up a profile of member workload.

(iv)         Councillor Smith asked that the members’ survey include a full list of meetings and not just ‘official’ council meetings.

AGREED to include a community meetings item in the survey.

Action: Claire Johnson

(v)          Lee-Marie Grant, Head of Electoral Services had used the forecasting tool provided by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to predict the electorate growth for the London Borough of Enfield for 2024. Various aspects had been considered when predicting this figure but it currently stood at 246,772 registered electors in Enfield by 2024. This compared to the current 2018 data of 214,759 registered electors.

(vi)         Based on this predicted electorate growth it could probably be evidenced that a very minimal reduction in Councillor numbers is required, if in-fact any reduction at all.

(vii)        Robert Flynn, Information & Research Manager provided further information on projected population growth and the sort of data and evidence that is used to predict these figures.

(viii)       Discussions took place regarding the projected electorate and population figures and how these might influence the outcome of the review. Members asked for a breakdown of the projected electorate and growth figures based on individual wards as opposed to polling districts. They also requested statistics on potential electors and figures for 16 and 17- year olds in the borough as these could impact on future electorate figures.

AGREED that these would be provided for the next meeting

Action: Lee-Marie/Robert Flynn

 

727.

NEXT STEPS OF THE REVIEW

To discuss and agree the next steps of the Review.

Minutes:

The next steps of the review would involve further evidence gathering along with collating the findings of the members’ survey. This would then form the final submission to be agreed by Full Council on the 30th October 2018 and then sent to the Commission by the 2nd November 2018.

 

Jeremey Chambers, Director of Law and Governance advised members that the Commission had indicated that should there be a strong cross-party submission regarding Councillor numbers, with evidence to support this, then the Commission would be likely to accept this as their recommendation.

728.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the date of the next meeting as follows:

 

 

·         Tuesday 9 October 2018 in Room 3 at the Civic Centre.

 

Please can Members agree the start time for this meeting.

Minutes:

NOTED the date of the next meeting as follows:

 

Tuesday 9 October 2018 in Room 3 at the Civic Centre.

 

In the mean-time all further information collated will be shared with both parties as and when it becomes available.

 

It was also agreed that the Leader, Councillor Caliskan, the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Laban and the relevant officers would meet prior to the next meeting to discuss and consider a proposal on Member numbers as part of the first stage of the review.