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Colchester: Review ‘minded’ to cut nine councillors

Boundary review could mean every Colchester resident will vote every year.

Boundary review could mean every Colchester resident will vote every year.

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A review of the structure of Colchester Borough Council (CBC) is “minded” to recommend cutting nine councillors.

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The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England’s initial review has suggested there should be just 51 councillors.

However it is now asking residents for their input as it looks to draw up a suggested pattern of wards for the 51 members.

In drawing up new boundaries the commission aims to deliver equality for voters so each councillor represents roughly the same number of people. The review also aims to ensure the new wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Colchester.

Under law the commission must try to set up three-member wards throughout the borough for councils like Colchester which hold elections three years in every four, though it is not compulsory if it would affect the identity of communities.

Currently there are nine two-member wards, six one-member wards and 12 three-member wards.

Max Caller, chairman of the commission, said: “The starting point of an electoral review is for the commission to take a view on the number of councillors who should represent the authority in future. On the evidence presented we are minded to recommend that Colchester should have 51 councillors in future - nine fewer than the current arrangements.

“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Colchester. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.

“Your views will make a difference.

“We will carefully consider all evidence provided during this phase of the review whoever it is from and whether it applies to the whole of Colchester or just a small part of the borough.

“We will publish all the submissions on our website so that local people can see all the various proposals we receive. Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations in October.”

Although the review is “minded” to cut the number of councillors to 51 it is not a binding decision.

The consultation runs until August 4. To submit your views visit www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk.

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