Proposed cut in councillors

Scarborough Councillors.'Cllr. Peter Popple - Northstead (Ind)
Scarborough Councillors.'Cllr. Peter Popple - Northstead (Ind)
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A SCARBOROUGH councillor is proposing a cut in the number of borough councillors in a bid to save cash.

Cllr Peter Popple, who is a member of Scarborough Council and represents residents living in the Northstead ward, said that he was at a conference and heard several other authorities were considering similar moves – in some cases by as much as 50 per cent.

He said: “Other councils are looking into this. Hambleton District Council has 44 councillors and I think they have proposed that it’s cut by about 16.”

Scarborough Council is currently made up of 50 councillors across a total of 25 wards – with represented by between one and three elected members depending on population density.

Cllr Popple said that the current number of councillors was one area that so far had not faced council cuts and was an area to consider making savings.

He said: “I think council’s all over the country are having to review numbers to see if they need as many.

“If you don’t have so many members it is cost saving and it’s a way of having the expenses cut. We’ve had cuts in staff, cuts in heads of services, cuts in directors – the only thing that’s increased is the number of members of the council.”

He added that he had been on the borough council since 1995 when there were 49 councillors – one less than the current level.

Cllr Popple said that the proposal for would be submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England where the issue could be reviewed ahead of the next full council election. He said: “It’d be three years time if anything were to happen.”

He added that he had put forward his suggestion at a recent council meeting but there was not much response from his fellow councillors. “I should think any member would be quite happy if the boundary commission had a review – they might say Scarborough needs its councillors.

“I think it is a thing that wants to be looked into.”

According to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England website it is responsible for conducting reviews of local authority electoral arrangements and was established on 1 April 1, 2010, when it took over from the Boundary Committee for England. A spokesman said: “We can also conduct reviews of the structure of local government, and the external boundaries of local authorities.”