LibDems call for smaller, cheaper council

February 27, 2015 12:00 AM
By Cllr Malcolm Cowan

Local Liberal Democrats are calling for Welwyn Hatfield council to be trimmed, as part of the redrawing of ward boundaries, currently being carried by the Boundaries Commission - a government body.

Malcolm Cowan, leader of the group, told this week's council meeting that they would be campaigning to slim the number of councillors by having 2 per ward instead of the current 3. This would reduce the number of councillors from 48 to around 34. 'It is hard to see why 48 councillors, with all the allowances and expenses, are needed, when just 7 councillors represent the whole of the borough on the county council , which has a far higher per head budget, and where 'councillors are expected to act as unpaid highways inspectors' as Malcolm said to the meeting.

Reducing the number of councillors in this way would save around £80,000 per year, based on their allowances and smaller sum for expenses and equipment. Additionally, one year in 4, there would be no local elections, saving another £90,000.

'As government grant has been cut and we have had to ask staff to do more and more with less and less, the one area we haven't cut is the cost of democracy. Now is the time to make these savings and put them towards front-line services' he concluded.

The Boundaries Commission welcome views of residents, who can contact them by writing to them at reviews@lgbce.org.uk.