Big cut proposed in number of Winchester city councillors

Romsey Advertiser: Big cut proposed in number of Winchester city councillors Big cut proposed in number of Winchester city councillors

THE number of Winchester city councillors should be cut from 57 to 45, the cabinet heard.

A report proposes 45 members, down 12, the biggest revamp in decades.

It follows the decision in April to retain the three-member wards and the electoral cycle of thirds.

The Local Government Boundary Commissions is beginning its review next month.

With fewer councillors the size of wards is set to increase although exactly how is currently unclear.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, portfolio holder for finance, said; “Hopefully the changes will be more efficient and better for Winchester. It will require the role of councillor to change. The same amount of work but with fewer councillors.”

Twelve fewer councillors would save around £75,000 a year, a report to cabinet said.

The full meeting of Council on July 16 will make the decision.

There will be elections in 2015; an all-out election in 2016; county council elections in 2017 and elections by thirds.

The councillors elected with the lowest votes in 2016 will come up for re-election first.

The commissions will consult from August 26 to November 3 with draft recommendations produced for early February 2015.

Cllr Angela Clear, for the Liberal Democrats, said her group believe the number should be 48 not 45. “If wards become bigger, with fewer councillors that could result in poorer representation,” she warned.

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