Ashburton District Council will soon begin seeking feedback from the community on proposed changes to the Council's representation, as part of a statutory representation review.
Council decided at its meeting today that the proposed option for the Council would include reducing the number of councillors from 12 to nine and that there be minor changes to ward boundaries for the Eastern, Western and Ashburton wards.
"Council is required to review its representation arrangements every six years, and must ensure its arrangements
are compliant with the standards set out in the Local Electoral Act. The proposed changes will be put to the community early next year, followed by more consideration and formal consultation. This is a robust process and
we encourage the community to have their say on this important review," Council Community Relations Manager Vincie Billante says.
The Local Electoral Act 2001 sets out a formula which determines the ratio limits for how many councillors should represent the number of residents in any particular ward. Population projections for the district indicate that the Council may need to reduce the number of its councillors to meet these representation ratios. This is included in the proposed changes.
The last significant changes to the Council's representation was in 2006, when councillor representation on each ward was shifted, new names for the wards were bestowed and the Methven Community Board extended its representation numbers from four to five.
Council expects to begin consulting with the community on the proposed representation review changes in February and March next year.