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Suffolk Coastal: District council looking to save £100,000 and reduce number of councillors by a fifth

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 February 2013

Suffolk Coastal District Council is recommending its members are reduced from 55 to 43

Suffolk Coastal District Council is recommending its members are reduced from 55 to 43

Archant

A DISTRICT authority is recommending the number of councillors on its books be reduced by just over a fifth – saving around £100,000.

Following a request from Suffolk Coastal the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is looking at a possible shake-up of the council.

As part of this the district authority is recommending its members be reduced from 55 to 43 – the equivalent of one councillor for every 2,300 electors.

The aim is to try and ensure each councillor is representing roughly the same number of people.

Reviews are triggered when the ratios become too distorted, as is the case in Kesgrave East and Rendlesham, whose councillors are representing 40% more electors than the district average.

Other areas such as Martlesham, Felixstowe, Rushmere St Andrew and Saxmundham are also expected to see future electoral growth.

The reduction in numbers is predicted to save the authority around £100,000. The draft proposal – drawn up by a cross-party working group – will be discussed at a meeting of the full council on Thursday.

If agreed it will be sent to the LGBCE before public consultation from April to June, after which it will announce its preferred option ahead of further consultations about possible new ward boundaries and names. Parliament would then be asked to approve its recommendations late next year ready for May 2015.

The draft response to the LGBCE says: “In all the circumstances, the council’s working group and the council have concluded that the size of the council should be reduced to 43 councillors.

“The council is confident that a council size of 43 councillors will ensure that the business of the council is delivered in the most efficient manner possible, whilst also providing the flexibility to address future challenges, and the sustainability to represent the diverse electorate of Suffolk Coastal.”

Proposals to build a new multi-million pound rail depot at Brantham on the Suffolk/Essex border have been jeopardised because it would force too many trains to use the level crossing at Manningtree station, it has emerged.

Lorry drivers have reported being shot at while driving along an A14 diversion route in east Suffolk.

Drivers are advised that it is “highly likely” the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk will shut tomorrow morning amid forecasts of 65mph gusts.

A man who was ordered to do unpaid work as part of a suspended prison sentence order for selling cannabis at Latitude music festival was back in court today after breaching the order.

A mental health charity is to take on a historic church in Colchester and the community hub that runs there.

The mother of missing airman Corrie McKeague has said she has not given up the hope of finding her son and her determination in locating him is “as strong as ever.”

Members of a drugs gang which dealt more than £250,000 worth of crack and heroin in Ipswich by exploiting vulnerable addicts have been jailed for a total of 25 years.

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