The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is currently reviewing the electoral arrangements for Croydon Council. This is a two stage process - first they look at how many councillors we need and second at what the ward boundaries should be to ensure that a) each councillor represents roughly the same number of people so each person's vote counts the same and b) the wards reflect community identity.
We currently have 70 councillors. Conservative councillors are arguing that this should be reduced to 60. Their argument is that:
- councillors have to attend fewer meetings (in 1999, councillors were appointed to 804 positions and attended nearly 3,300 meetings; by 2016, this had fallen to 341 positions and 1,400 meetings) and the vast majority of the casework they receive from residents now comes via email rather than post or telephone and so is much easier to deal with; and
- given that the council is having to reduce the number of staff it employs as part of its contribution to ensuring government lives within its means, it is right to reduce the number of councillors too. A reduction form 70 to 60 councillors would save half a million pounds.
Labour councillors are opposed to any reduction in the size of the Council.
I'm sure the Commission will be keen to hear what the public thinks about this. You can either contact them direct or take part in a poll that The Croydon Advertiser is running here.