Felixstowe: Resort faces up to councillor cut

Felixstowe Town Hall

Felixstowe Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Community leaders have accepted a cut in the number of councillors who will represent the Felixstowe area in future, but are determined to keep the town council the same.

An independent review is currently being carried out in the Suffolk Coastal area and the district council has proposed reducing the number of councillors from 55 to 43, which could save the authority around £100,000 a year.

Andy Smith, chairman of Felixstowe Town Council’s working party looking at the changes, said this would mean Felixstowe would lose three district councillors – seeing its number drop from 11 to eight.

He said: “It would not just be a reduction in the number of councillors, but also in the number of wards in the town and the boundaries would then have to be redrawn.

“The proposal is that Felixstowe would be reduced to eight councillors and there would be four wards, each returning two councillors.

“We don’t get to decide the ward boundaries ourselves.”

At present the town has five wards, which has been the situation for many years since the last boundary changes axed a ward to cater for the growth of the estates in the west of the town.

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Mr Smith said the changes could have an impact on the number of councillors sitting on the town council, which currently has a membership of 16.

There was an opportunity to suggest changes – perhaps having an eight, 12 or 16-member council – but the council would probably prefer to stay at 16, with the four wards returning four members each.

Former mayor Doreen Savage said: “I think four wards with four members, two of whom would be town councillors only will help with the running of the town council.

“Our workload is getting greater each year and having more town councillors who can be involved without a district responsibility may help.”

It was agreed to write to the Local Government Boundary Commission and put forward a 16-member town council and eight district councillors.

People have until October 1 to put forward their views to the commission on future wards.