Review could see fewer Doncaster councillors

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DONCASTER Council could see a cut to the number of politicians running it next year.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England will look into whether the authority needs to change the number of sitting councillors, with the process due to start this year.

The Commission will undertake its preliminary work between April and October, the council has announced.

During this time the commission will meet with the full council, the elected mayor, the political group leaders, parishes and officers. It could mean a cut in the number of councillors.

The commission will then expect to receive a submission or submissions on council size between late August and early September, ahead of more meetings in October, followed by public consultation.

It will then decide how many councillors there should be, along with where and how big political wards should be, with draft recommendations published in 2014.

Any changes to the size of the council or the timing and frequency of elections can only be confirmed by an Order in Parliament.

If changes are made, they are likely to be in place and effective in time for the May 2016 elections.

Mayor Peter Davies, who has been campaigning to reduce the number of councillors, said: “It has long been my view that reducing the number of councillors and the huge burden they put on the local council tax payer is essential.

“At the moment the outrageous bill for political salaries and allowances comes to over a million pounds and most of them have very little to do.

“We need a smaller, more focused, more energetic council and reducing numbers was one of my key election pledges.”

But Labour Coun Phil Cole said the commission had made no suggestion it would cut the number of councillors.

He said: “They may find we need more councillors. They have no remit to save public funds.”