The Sutton Town Council consultative ballot, which forms part of a wider consultation, closed at 3pm on Thursday 16 July 2015.
In answer to the question – Should a Town Council be established for the Parliamentary constituency of Sutton Coldfield with the City of Birmingham? – close to 70% of the vote was in favour of a Town Council. Turnout was nearly 40%.
The all party Community Governance Review Group has therefore agreed today (17 July 2015) to recommend the creation of a Sutton Town Council to full council in September 2015. Subject to the council’s decision, further work will be done by the working group to set the date of election of the Sutton Town Council and other matters.
Leader of Birmingham City Council and chair of the council’s cross party working group, Sir Albert Bore, said: “This is a clear cut result and the turnout in the ballot was fairly high. It will now be for the full council to make the final decision, taking into account this result and the other feedback from consultation. That decision could have an impact beyond Sutton Coldfield and for that reason the Community Governance Review has also looked at the wider issues for the city as a whole. There will be other changes through our Future Council programme and through the Boundary Commission review – which will decide on the size of the City Council from 2018 and new ward arrangements. Taking all these changes together, this is a watershed moment in the way that Birmingham is governed.”
Cllr Anne Underwood, Sutton Coldfield District Chair said: “As a group, we are delighted with the turnout of 40% at the ballot that reflects the interest our residents have always shown in the governance of the Royal Town. The result is a resounding Yes and we would assure residents that we will support its establishment and take an active part in ensuring that it makes a difference for the residents of Sutton Coldfield.”
Cllr Paul Tilsley CBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “The ballot showed conclusively that the residents want devolved local democracy and are prepared to contribute £1 per week for the creation of the Town Council. I welcome the vote and look forward to further ballots within the City.”
Birmingham City Council launched a wide ranging review of local democracy – the community governance review – at full council on 16 September 2014 in response to a petition from 10,000 Sutton Coldfield residents calling for a Town Council for the area. Over 200 Sutton Coldfield residents responded to this consultation – which included conferences, round table discussions, feedback from residents, an online questionnaire and area briefings – and on 22 May 2015 Birmingham City Council published its conclusions. Although the consultation showed there was support for a town council the response was relatively small so councillors agreed to test opinion further through a postal consultative ballot.
Full details of the vote –
Number of eligible voters – 75,431
Total number of votes cast – 29,908
Turnout – 39.6%
Number of votes found to be invalid – 57
Total number of valid votes counted – 29,851
Number voting YES – 20,871 (69.9%)
Number voting NO – 8,980 (30.1%)
For further media information contact Press and PR Officer Debbie Harrison on 303 4476
Note to editors
The consultative postal ballot took place from 25 June to 16 July 2015.