Number of councillors in Tendring could be halved

Town Hall, Clacton

Town Hall, Clacton - Credit: Contributed

The Boundary Commission is to carry out a review into the future of Tendring District Council – which could see the number of councillors halved.

Talks have begun between the authority and the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to consider ward boundaries, and potentially reducing the number of members who sit on the council.

There are currently 60 councillors.

Council leader Neil Stock and Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for housing, had met with the commission earlier this week along with council officers.

Mr Stock said: “A working party involving all political parties will be set up and it will be up to us to propose how the council will run and then how many councillors we should have.

“A figure of 60 is at the extreme end of the scale and we could go down to as low as 30 if we can show a good way of running Tendring.”

Mr Honeywood added: “We are now on the commission’s programme and there is no going back. We have got to move with this and the start will be with the administration of the council.

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“If we do not put forward a good case to the commission then it will make the changes for us.”

One councillor, Mary Newton, had put a motion to cabinet for a return to the old committee-style system of running the council.

Members decided that it should be considered as part of the work by the Electoral Review working party, and then reported back to the full council in due course.

The working party will consider all options – including the current cabinet system, going back to a committee system, a hybrid or even an elected mayor.

Elsewhere in Essex Braintree District Council dropped from 60 councillors to 49 at May’s elections, while Colchester Borough Council is reducing from 60 to 51 this coming May.

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