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Local Government Boundary Commissioners

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, (1) what the (a) salary scale and (b) term of appointment is for a local government boundary commissioner for England; (111790)

(2) what experience and qualifications are required for candidates for appointment as local government boundary commissioners for England;

(3) how many and what percentage of local government boundary commissioners for England are qualified lawyers.

There is no specific office of ‘local government boundary commissioner for England’. The functions of the Local Government Commission for England (LGCE) were transferred to the Boundary Committee for England (BCE), a statutory committee of the Electoral Commission, on 1 April 2002.

The Electoral Commission appoints the members of BCE, which may comprise only electoral commissioners and deputy electoral commissioners, with an electoral commissioner appointed as chairman. The current membership consists of the electoral commissioner who chairs it, and four deputy electoral commissioners.

The chair of BCE has served in that capacity since its establishment, and was most recently reappointed as an electoral commissioner in January 2007. She also served on LGCE for four years. Her current rate of remuneration as a part-time electoral commissioner is £337 per day, plus reimbursement of reasonable travel and subsistence incurred on Commission business.

Deputy electoral commissioners, whose functions are limited to serving on boundary committees, are appointed by the Electoral Commission. I am asking the Commission to write to the hon. Member setting out details of the person specification used in their original recruitment, and of the terms for which the current deputy commissioners are appointed, and to place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House. The Commission informs me that it is currently reviewing the person specification in anticipation of the need to recruit new deputy electoral commissioners in the near future to replace existing appointees whose terms are coming to an end. Remuneration of deputy electoral commissioners is fixed by the Electoral Commission, and it informs me that the current rate is £296 per day, plus reimbursement of reasonable travel and subsistence incurred on BCE business.

The Electoral Commission informs me that none of the members of BCE is a qualified lawyer.