26 January 2012

Northamptonshire County Council statement in response to the announcement by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) that a decision has been reached about the future number of elected councillors:

Leader of Northamptonshire County Council Jim Harker said:

"Having had confirmation from the boundary commission that the optimum number of councillors for the county is 57, we are now embarking on the next stage to consider changes to the boundaries of the council's electoral divisions.

“Councillors will be involved in this stage to make sure that the local knowledge and understanding they have of their own divisions and communities is fed into the review.

"The aim of the review is to reduce electoral inequality across the county and to bring consistency to the numbers of residents councillors represent. While the review hasn’t been instigated for cost-savings purposes, it nevertheless provides a potential saving of up to £350k over the next four years, subject to an allowances review, an important consideration in these financially-challenging times."

The commission is proposing that 57 county councillors should represent the authority in future, 16 fewer than at present.

The decision marks the start of the second phase of the county review which will now focus on making sure each county councillor represents approximately the same number of people and ensuring that the new electoral divisions reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across the county.

The commission is now asking local people for their input into the review of the electoral arrangements for Northamptonshire County Council. More details are available on its website at www.lgbce.org.uk