Agenda and minutes

Electoral Review Sub-Committee - Wednesday, 16th August, 2023 10.30 am

Venue: R1 & R2 - Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Paul Mountford 

No. Item


Appointment of Chair

To appoint the Chair of the Sub-Committee.




That Councillor S Corcoran be appointed Chair.



Appointment of Vice-Chair

To appoint the Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee.




That Councillor C Browne be appointed Vice-Chair.



Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Public Speaking / Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Committee Procedure Rules and the Appendix on Public Speaking, as set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the Sub-Committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes to speak; the Chair will have discretion to vary this where he/she considers it appropriate.


Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days in advance of the meeting.




There were no public speakers.


Cheshire East Electoral Review pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To consider a report on the background to, and proposed work associated with, the Boundary Commission for England review of Cheshire East Council’s electoral arrangements.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee considered a report on the background to, and proposed work associated with, the Boundary Commission for England review of Cheshire East Council’s electoral arrangements.


The report explored what would be required of the Council in response to the review, and what representations the Council might wish to make.


The Sub-Committee was advised that the Boundary Commission’s review would focus on:

  • How many councillors the Council should have.
  • How many Council wards there should be, where their boundaries should be, and what the wards should be called.


  • How many councillors should represent each ward.


The Commission was undertaking the review because the Council now met both of its intervention criteria as detailed in the report.


The purpose of the electoral review was to ensure that:


  • The Council’s wards were in the best possible places to help the Council carry out its responsibilities effectively.


  • New wards would leave each councillor representing roughly the same number of voters as other councillors elsewhere in the authority.


  • New wards, as far as possible, would reflect community interests and identities, with identifiable boundaries.


  • New wards promoted effective and convenient local government.


The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to the timetable for, and stages of, the Commission’s review, as set out in the report to the Corporate Policy Committee on 11th July 2023.


Information would be sought from the Council, including electoral forecasts and other data and documents. A model had therefore been prepared which had generated forecasts of future electorate numbers up to the end of 2029, for various geographical tiers. Officers had also prepared a detailed technical report that explained the forecasting methodology, and were preparing the other data and documents that the Commission required.


The Commission would decide how many councillors should be elected to the Council in the future. This decision would be based on information received from the Council (the Council-size submission), and any other representations made. The Commission’s view on Council size would be informed by:


  • The governance arrangements of the Council
  • The Council’s scrutiny functions
  • The representational role of Councillors
  • Future trends and plans for the Council
  • The Borough’s geography, community characteristics, demographic pressures and any other relevant constraints, challenges, issues or changes


In addition to the Council size submission, which the Commission had asked to be made in draft by 13 November 2023, the Council was also asked to submit proposed warding patterns.


There would be a period of public consultation on warding patterns (23rd January to 1st April 2024), following which draft recommendations would be made upon the Council’s electoral arrangements. Consultation on the draft recommendations would follow. The review process could take 12-18 months to conclude. The Commission’s recommendations would then be published and would be subject to approval by Parliament. The new arrangements for Cheshire East would then take effect in May 2027.


The Commission had provided some examples of what might be described as “best practice” submissions. The Commission had also identified CIPFA “nearest neighbours” as reference points for the Council’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Cheshire East Council Electoral Review Project Management Products pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To consider a report on the project management products developed to date.

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee considered a report which provided details of the project management arrangements, process and timeline that were proposed in order for the Council to fulfil its responsibility as ‘consultee’ in the electoral review and deliver appropriate submissions to the Commission in relation to council size and warding arrangements within the required timescales.


Following discussion under the previous item, members were asked to agree that officers conduct a survey of all members in relation to their workloads.


There was a brief discussion about whether it would be appropriate to issue a press release following the meeting. It was agreed that the matter would be raised with the Communications Team.


RESOLVED (unanimously)


That the Sub-Committee


1.   notes the following project management products which will guide the work of the officer Project Board:


a.    the Governance Arrangements (Appendix A)

b.    The Draft Product Initiation Document (Appendix B)

c.    the Product Breakdown Structure (Appendix C)

d.    the work in progress Project Plan (Appendix D)


2.   endorses the High-Level Timeline (Appendix E); and


3.   authorises the Head of Democratic Services and Governance to make such adjustments to the Project Plan as he considers necessary as the review progresses; and


4.   agrees that a survey of all members be undertaken to establish workloads, and authorises the Head of Democratic Services and Governance, following consultation with Group Leaders, to conduct the survey.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 246 KB

To consider the Sub-Committee’s work programme.


The Sub-Committee considered its work programme which covered the period of the electoral review.

The work programme would be updated to reflect the decisions taken at the meeting.




That the work programme be noted.