A third of councillors could go after key vote is agreed - but Boundary Commission will have final say

16:01 19 April 2014

Cllr James Palmer, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Cllr James Palmer, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council.


A radical reform of East Cambridgeshire District Council – with the number of councillors cut by 12 to 27 – has been backed by members.

It is hoped that the move will save up to £50,000 a year in allowances and expenses – though it will not be introduced until May 2019.

A special meeting of the council was held last Tuesday where the outcome of recent reviews into councillor numbers was discussed.

As part of the changes, double-member wards could be chopped with the exception of Ely, Littleport and Soham.

But, despite the backing of the council’s 39 elected members, the proposal will still need the backing of the boundary commission, which will examine the council’s proposal before making a final ruling, expected in late 2015 or 2016.

Chief executive John Hill told the meeting that “one of the drivers for change is value for money, i.e. reducing the cost of democracy in the light of the budget challenges ahead”. The council is faced with finding savings of £3.5million by 2018.

At present 39 councillors cover an electorate of 65,520, representing an average ratio of 1,680 electors per member. But Mr Hill says there is considerable variance between wards.

In Soham North, for example, the member represents 2,145 people whilst in Littleport West the councillor represents 1,335.

Neighbouring Huntingdonshire has an average electorate per member of 2,514.

A previous attempt by the council to trigger a review was rejected by the commission in 2011. The council wanted a reduction of six councillors to 33, but the commission “did not agree” with the proposal and didn’t launch a review.

All councils can request a review under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.

The commission is obliged to consider the request but is not compelled to agree to conduct a review if it feels the request doesn’t meet the best interests of voters.

1 comment

  • At last, some light in the end of the tunnel...

    Report this comment


    Saturday, April 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More news stories

One of the images being used by Cambridgeshire County Council as part of their 'cuts consultation'

Less than a month after the county council’s annual report warned to prepare for the “unthinkable” in terms of cuts, a consultation has begun to determine where £114million can be saved in the next five years.

Yesterday, 15:45
Cocker spaniel is dumped at a rubbish site. His companion, a terrier called Eva, had to be put down to stop her suffering

A terrier which was one of two dogs dumped at a waste management site in Cambridgeshire was so emaciated she had to be put down, the RSPCA said, after appealing for witnesses to find the person who dumped them.

Yesterday, 11:39
Poets House Ely

Two hotels – Poets House, Ely, and Paddocks House at Six Mile Bottom- that were placed in administration in July, have gone up for sale.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition