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

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.”

4 comments

  • Suffolk Coastal has 124,000 population and 55 councillors. The City of Suffolk, Virginia has 86,000 and 8. Elections there are a big deal, all council sessions are televised locally, and most people know who their councillor is. Hmm...

    Report this comment

    Charles Macdowell

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • That seems a very sensible idea as Babergh DC have 43 councillors and Mid Suffolk DC have 40 councillors. It is great to see cross-party support in that district as the LibDems at national level have voted against fair and even constituencies. The present national boundaries have a strong Labour bias which would have been reduced had the LibDems not voted against it in Parliament.

    Report this comment

    John Whitehead

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • You could save far more money by scrapping the council completely. Responsibility for services could be devolved upwards to the county council, or downwards to town councils. Almost all district councillors are a total waste of space and money.

    Report this comment

    Origami Penguin

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

  • My experience is that the number of councillors could be reduced to about a Bakers Dozen and there'd still be too many. A complete waste of money, both in Suffolk Coastal and every other District council in the country. It's a shame the Boundary Committee review in 2008 didn't do away with all District Councils and give us Ipswich Borough, with East and West Suffolk.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

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