Councillor numbers could be cut
COUNCILLOR numbers could be cut as North Somerset Council faces up to �47.3million of cuts.
Reducing the number, which currently stands at 61, is one possibility being looked into, with a committee exploring the idea.
Councillor David Pasley, chairman of the authority’s corporate services scrutiny committee, said there are no ‘no-go’ areas the council will not explore to make the cuts.
Councillors are entitled to a basic annual allowance of �8,136, while they can also be awarded payments for extra duties in groups or panels.
Cllr Pasley, representative for Portishead Coast, said: “As a scrutiny committee we are looking at this situation with completely fresh eyes, there are no-no go areas and the number of councillors is something we are looking at.
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“The members of the committee are looking at whether we as councillors are doing a good job, at the costs, and if there are any better ways we can do things.”
The idea also has support from the council’s Labour group leader Richard Tucker, who said: “If you look at cities like Bristol or Birmingham, they operate with relatively few councillors considering the amount of people they represent, so there probably are too many councillors in North Somerset.”
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If councillor numbers were to be reduced, they would likely come into effect at the next district elections in 2015 while changes to the existing boundaries would be likely.