Councillor numbers could be cut and wards axed in Darlington as new ward boundaries are suggested

Darlington and Stockton Times: Council leader Bill Dixon promises minimal change Council leader Bill Dixon promises minimal change

THE NUMBER of councillors in Darlington could be cut and wards axed as part of plans to ensure voters are proportionately represented ahead of the 2015 elections.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has ruled that the number of councillors representing Darlington Borough Council should be reduced from 53 to 50 in time for the next election and that a new pattern of wards to reflect the change should be drawn up.

The commission asked local people, businesses and community organisations to suggest a new pattern of wards ahead of a consultation period set to begin in March.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, councillors agreed to forward a joint submission from the town’s Labour and Conservative parties to the Boundary Commission for consideration.

The draft plans would see three councillors – two Labour and one Liberal Democrat - lose their seats with the axing of the Lascelles and Central/Northgate wards.

If the plans are accepted, the Sadberge and Whessoe ward will change, with the Whessoe area being shifted into the Heighington and Coniscliffe ward.

A redistribution of councillors would see one additional seat created in the Cockerton West, Lingfield and Bank Top wards, with one less seat in Cockerton East.

Council leader Bill Dixon said: “This map is drawn up fairly and sensibly with no crazy dividing lines.

“As such, it is easy to recognise and understand for people who are outside of council chambers who know where they live.

“We have taken the view that there should be minimum changes and no name changes for the sake of it.

“The map is fair. The last thing we want to do is confuse people before the elections when voting numbers are falling.”

Another submission was put forward by the Lib Dems at the meeting but it was rejected by the majority of councillors.

The party will submit their alternative plan – which renames several wards and axes Haughton West and Northgate – independently to the Boundary Commission.

The plans – which do not represent formal proposals at this stage – will be considered by the commission prior to their drawing up of draft recommendations for a new pattern of wards in March 2014.

A further consultation period will follow.

Comments (8)

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8:08pm Fri 13 Dec 13

spragger says...

'Could' but will not.
This Council takes the p1ss out of the taxpayer
'Could' but will not. This Council takes the p1ss out of the taxpayer spragger

9:03pm Fri 13 Dec 13

oliviaden6 says...

No problem if they start at the TOP
No problem if they start at the TOP oliviaden6

9:50pm Fri 13 Dec 13

harry2 says...

Just as these stories keep repeating I may as well ,

Darlington has 53 wards and sheffield has only 28 how do they justify it it's crazy, they shouldn't be allowed so many. Especially as they are all paid , puzzles me
Just as these stories keep repeating I may as well , Darlington has 53 wards and sheffield has only 28 how do they justify it it's crazy, they shouldn't be allowed so many. Especially as they are all paid , puzzles me harry2

11:25am Sat 14 Dec 13

Luther95 says...

harry2 wrote:
Just as these stories keep repeating I may as well ,

Darlington has 53 wards and sheffield has only 28 how do they justify it it's crazy, they shouldn't be allowed so many. Especially as they are all paid , puzzles me
Sheffield has 84 councillors for 28 wards, Harry. Currently, Darlington has 53 councillors elected by 24 wards.

The 'could be cut' line in the story is a bit misleading. If you go to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England's website, you can see that it has already decided that the number of councillors will be cut by 3 - consultation on the number of councillors closed in the middle of this year. The consultation which has just finished (on ward boundaries) was based on a council with 50 members.

http://www.lgbce.org
.uk/all-reviews/nort
h-east/durham/darlin
gton-fer

The LGBCE is an independent body, and is quite capable of recommending vastly different elector/councillor ratios from one council to another - it all depends on local circumstances and opinion. It was probably influenced by DBC's own submission (which is on the website's Darlington page above) which concluded that 50 members was right for the Borough. That looks like it had the support of the local Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties - they've only fallen out now over how the ward maps should be drawn.
[quote][p][bold]harry2[/bold] wrote: Just as these stories keep repeating I may as well , Darlington has 53 wards and sheffield has only 28 how do they justify it it's crazy, they shouldn't be allowed so many. Especially as they are all paid , puzzles me[/p][/quote]Sheffield has 84 councillors for 28 wards, Harry. Currently, Darlington has 53 councillors elected by 24 wards. The 'could be cut' line in the story is a bit misleading. If you go to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England's website, you can see that it has already decided that the number of councillors will be cut by 3 - consultation on the number of councillors closed in the middle of this year. The consultation which has just finished (on ward boundaries) was based on a council with 50 members. http://www.lgbce.org .uk/all-reviews/nort h-east/durham/darlin gton-fer The LGBCE is an independent body, and is quite capable of recommending vastly different elector/councillor ratios from one council to another - it all depends on local circumstances and opinion. It was probably influenced by DBC's own submission (which is on the website's Darlington page above) which concluded that 50 members was right for the Borough. That looks like it had the support of the local Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties - they've only fallen out now over how the ward maps should be drawn. Luther95

3:38pm Sat 14 Dec 13

oliviaden6 says...

Its easily answered JOBS FOR THE BOYS. Or the local Councilors club either way we pay through the nose for incompetence and waste.
Its easily answered JOBS FOR THE BOYS. Or the local Councilors club either way we pay through the nose for incompetence and waste. oliviaden6

4:22pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Lifetime Townie says...

Without being personal, when we see N. Echo pictures of the leaders of the surrounding local authorities Cleveland, Durham etc they always seem to have a smart appearance with collar, & neck tie etc but when N. Echo publishes a article on DBC they put up a picture of a leader who is looking a bit scruffy, why?
Without being personal, when we see N. Echo pictures of the leaders of the surrounding local authorities Cleveland, Durham etc they always seem to have a smart appearance with collar, & neck tie etc but when N. Echo publishes a article on DBC they put up a picture of a leader who is looking a bit scruffy, why? Lifetime Townie

4:47pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Lifetime Townie says...

Some of the public consultation ideas about the number of councillors needed came to a realistic 30
Some of the public consultation ideas about the number of councillors needed came to a realistic 30 Lifetime Townie

12:46pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Homshaw1 says...

Lifetime Townie wrote:
Some of the public consultation ideas about the number of councillors needed came to a realistic 30
Quite right the reduction in numbers is minimal and they all do and say what the party leaders and council managers tell them to in any case.

Most of them are little more than messenger boys.
[quote][p][bold]Lifetime Townie[/bold] wrote: Some of the public consultation ideas about the number of councillors needed came to a realistic 30[/p][/quote]Quite right the reduction in numbers is minimal and they all do and say what the party leaders and council managers tell them to in any case. Most of them are little more than messenger boys. Homshaw1

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