Community asked about proposed Council representation changes
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Last modified: 03 Sep 2021 2:32pm
Selwyn residents will be asked about proposed changes to how they are represented at the next local elections with new wards and numbers of councillors.
At its meeting yesterday the Council agreed to put forward a proposal to retain four wards, but change the existing ward boundaries to form Ellesmere, Malvern, Rolleston and Springs wards. The Council is also proposing to reduce the number of councillors to 10. Consultation on the proposal will run from Friday 3 September to Monday 4 October.
Currently, the Council is made up of 11 councillors elected from four wards, Ellesmere, Malvern, Selwyn Central and Springs, and a mayor elected at large (across the whole district). There is one community board for Malvern.
The proposal has been adopted by the Council for consultation as part of its representation review, which must be undertaken every six years.
The proposal largely retains the existing system, but with changes to a number of ward boundaries to ensure a more even spread of population across each ward. Selwyn Central would be replaced by a smaller Rolleston ward, and would have three councillors rather than the existing four, with all the other wards retaining their existing number of councillors.
The largest change to ward boundaries would see West Melton move into the Malvern Ward, while an area between Burnham and Rolleston would move from the current Selwyn Central Ward to the Ellesmere Ward.
The Malvern Community Board would be retained, with a third subdivision of West Melton added to the existing subdivisions of Hawkins and Tawera. The number of board members would remain at five with two each from the West Melton and Hawkins subdivisions and one from the Tawera subdivision. Previously the board was made up of three members from Hawkins subdivision and two from Tawera.
Selwyn’s population has been growing rapidly in recent years. However, population growth has not occurred evenly across the district. This means the existing ward boundaries are no longer appropriate as they do not provide effective representation across the district. The current ward boundaries must be reviewed to provide for fair and effective representation.
In July, the Council asked for feedback on four possible options under the representation review. Responses showed fairly even support across three options with varying numbers of wards and councillors, and support for community boards, particularly from Malvern residents.
The proposal will affect how Selwyn residents are represented on the Council, and people’s feedback is key, according to Representation Review Subcommittee’s chairman Councillor Mark Alexander.
“With the population growth we’ve seen, we needed to make changes to make sure everyone is represented fairly. Now it’s up to people in Selwyn to tell us if they think these proposed changes will do that,” he says.
“Although our proposal is the option with the least changes of all the ones we had considered, there are still significant choices for people to think through when letting us know how they want to be represented on the Council. We encourage everyone to take a close look at the options and have their say.”
The proposal was the outcome of a lot of hard work from the subcommittee, he says.
“A large number of options for adjusting ward boundaries and the number of councillors were considered before consultation with the community. The Representation Review Subcommittee had a vigorous debate when selecting the option to recommend to Council for final consultation with our community.”
More information on the representation review consultation and how to make a submission, will be available at www.selwyn.govt.nz/representation from 3 September.