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FAQs - Changes planned for Birmingham City Council

Our handy guide to the major changes which are being discussed for the political map of Birmingham

What is a council ward?

All local authorities, regardless of size, are divided up into small sections called wards which are represented by at least one elected councillor.

How many does Birmingham have?

At present, Birmingham City Council is divided up into 40 separate wards, each with three elected councillors, making a total of 120.

What's happening to them?

In December 2014, government inspector Lord Bob Kerslake produced a wide-ranging report into Birmingham City Council and its governance of the city.

It raised many key issues and recommendations, one of which was to reduce the number of councillors and increase the volume of wards.

How many will it have?

Under the current proposals, the city council would be divided up into 77 wards - 53 of which would have only one councillor and the remaining 24 would have two councillors, making a total of 101 elected representatives.

Is this a good thing?

Possibly. Each ward under the proposed new format would be geographically smaller and and have fewer people living in it.

How will it affect residents of the city?

On many levels, it won't make the slightest bit of difference. For example, residents of the Jewellery Quarter who currently live in the Ladywood ward would find themselves in the Winson Green ward instead but will probably still tell people they live in the Jewellery Quarter.

However, it has led to concern from some quarters that it could affect important matters such as house prices and identifiable places such as Moseley Village would no longer be in the Moseley and Kings Heath ward.

It would also re-draw an established political representation of an area.

Will Birmingham itself be changing?

No. The city boundaries which border places such as Worcestershire and Staffordshire will not be altered or moved. The current ten parliamentary constituencies will also remain unaffected by this although MPs themselves might have to learn some new ward names which come under their respective patches.

When will all of this be finalised?

The final recommendations were due to be published by the Local Government Boundary Commission on May 17, 2016, but this has since changed (see update below).

What will happen to the local elections?

On May 5, 2016, the final local elections will take place in Birmingham under the current system whereby there are elections in three out of every four years.

From May 2018, local elections in Birmingham will take place every four years as they already do in many other UK local authorities.

How can I get involved?

The Local Government Boundary Commission held a public consultation until February 8, 2016 - a second will now take place based on that feedback (see update below).

Nothing is set in stone. Its proposals are, at this stage, exactly that - just proposals.

The number of councillors and ward boundaries and their names could change again depending on what feedback the commission receives and how well argued the points raised are.

For more information and to take part in the consultation visit the Local Government Boundary Commission's website here.

UPDATE

Following the consultation period, the Boundary Commission announced in April 2016 that it would significantly alter its proposed new city council ward map in response to the feedback from residents.

The commission published a second draft map on May 10, 2016, based on more than 2,000 submissions received from residents.

It is going through a fresh period of consultation, running until June 20, 2016, before finalising the recommendations in September 2016 after considering feedback from this second consultation.

ANOTHER UPDATE

These latest set of recommendations were published on September 6, 2016 and can be read here.

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