Council seats set for official review

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DONCASTER is facing a review of councillors serving on the authority, which could see the number of elected representatives slashed.

The Boundary Commission will start a formal review process in April next year.

The commission will look at the size of the council before considering the number and boundaries of electoral wards.

They will publish draft recommendations for consultation before completing their review and publishing their final recommendations in January 2015. Any electoral changes would be implemented in whole-council elections in May 2016.

Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies wants to see the number of councillors cut to 21 and made it a pledge in his election manifesto in 2009.

He said: “I am delighted with this overdue announcement.

“Doncaster’s mayoral system, which was supported at the recent elections, makes most of the key decisions and I have always insisted the number of councillors needs to be reduced.

“Councillors do have an important role to play bringing issues to the attention of the executive but 63 members in Doncaster is simply too many.

“These are difficult times for the council as we come to terms with the Government’s £80million spending cuts and make tough decisions as to where these savings can be found. As a local authority we are spending in the region of £1.3m on 63 councillors over 21 wards. In my opinion this is money that could be better spent elsewhere.”

Coun Glyn Jones, leader of the council’s majority Labour group, said they would work with the commission during its review.

He said: “Doncaster isn’t any different to other Metropolitan Boroughs in the region, in real terms it has the same level of representation as Bradford, Rotherham and Wakefield.

“Councillors play an important role in the democratic process by providing a link between residents and the local authority. They are often the eyes and ears of their communities, allowing the council’s resources to be best targeted while providing people with important services and access to vital information.”

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