Fears over town losing council seat

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SKEGNESS should not be the area to lose one of its district council seats as part of the five which could be slashed in a Government shake-up, town councillors have argued.

The number of councillors across East Lindsey could be reduced and members at Skegness Town Council’s Direction and Strategy meeting, held last Wednesday, felt the decision should not just be based on the electors but also the size of the population.

The fears come after the Local Government Boundary Commission for England announced a review which would consider changes to the number, names and boundaries of all the council’s wards.

A six week public consultation was opened up last month and finishes October 15 which asked local people to submit thoughts on a proposal that would see the authority represented by 55 councillors in future - five fewer than the 60 at present.

Mayor Coun Mark Anderson spoke of his concern of the possibility of the town losing one of its district posts and felt to reduce one would reduce the service which they offered.

“The town is growing and that number is needed to represent Skegness,” he said.

Coun Steve Kirk reflected on boundary commission changes which occurred 10 years ago, and said some wards were smaller than others but said Ingoldmells Rural was huge.

But he said: “If five need to go then that’s a £20,000 saving and £30,000 saving to the taxpayer.”

Coun Mark Smith, said: “It’s based on electors and the smaller wards are at threat. It should not just be on electors but also on the population registered to vote in every parish, section or ward.”

The committee expressed that they would write to the commission stating seats should be representative of Skegness and there be no reduction.

Once the current phase closes, the commission will publish is proposal on the total number of councillors in November and begin to gather information on new ward boundaries across East Lindsey. Draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards are set for May when it will consult again for 12 weeks. Final recommendations are due late 2013 and the new electoral arrangements would come into effect for the 2015 council elections. Visit www.lgbce.org.uk for details.