16 Dec 2011

Should number of councillors be cut?

I ask this because in the recent residents survey there was a question about whether the numbers of district councillors should be reduced.

The way questions are framed to members of the public can be a significant factor in gaining certain answers or responses. Sometimes it is appropriate to provide additional information about the choices on offer. However no additional information was provided in this case regarding possible cost savings, impact on communities or impact on local democracy.

At the recent Scrutiny last week I asked about where this question came from - apparently the idea was muted as staff numbers are being cut so why not councillors? Well I am totally in favour of a discussion around this topic but it needs to be done in an informed manner.

See here my objection to cutting the number of County councillors which is now going ahead and here further discussions about councillor numbers in Europe. We have fewer councillors than anywhere else  - we should in my view be looking to enhance and develop the community roles. They have huge potential and costs are minimal in my view.

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