Call to cut number of Telford & Wrekin councillors by 10

The number of councillors in Telford & Wrekin should be cut, the leader of the Conservative group has claimed.

Councillor Andrew Eade, says reducing the number of members from 54 to 44 would save the local authority £700,000 over four years. The

Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is currently conducting a review into the boundaries of voting areas in the borough.

And the body is due to start a public consultation on the numbers of councillors next month.

Councillor Eade said: “The Conservative group has made a submission to LGBCE as part of its current review of future electoral arrangements.

“We requested this review in January 2011 and welcome an overhaul of the council’s electoral arrangements.

“It has been clear to us for some time that we do not need 54 councillors.

He added: “We recommend a reduction of 10, which on its own will produce a saving in excess of £700,000 over the four year life of the council.”

Councillor Eade added a recent change in the law means councils no longer have to stick to a cabinet model.

He said: “Local authorities can now ditch the leader and cabinet model used in Telford and instead use a committee system which works in Brighton.

“Although this system is more demanding we believe it requires less councillors and would be a success in Telford.”

However, a spokesman for Labour-run Telford & Wrekin Council said: “Councillors play a very important role in helping local communities and running the council and with Telford’s population set to increase this job will more time consuming not less.

“Reducing the number of councillors to 44 would reduce representation and this shows that the Conservatives would rather play little games than look seriously at the future needs of our community.”

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