HL Deb 26 January 1999 vol 596 cc140-1WA
Baroness Mallalieu

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in conducting periodic reviews of the electoral arrangements for county councils, the Local Government Commission will be permitted to modify the requirement for numerical equality between electoral divisions to ensure that in sparsely populated areas such as West Somerset, very large geographical divisions are not created which will weaken the link between an elected representative and the electorate. [HL582]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty)

The statutory requirements of the Local Government Commission in undertaking a periodic electoral review are to secure effective and convenient local government and to reflect the interests and identities of local communities. Numerical equality is one of a number of factors to which the Commission will have regard in fulfilling these requirements.