Rossendale authority could slash number of councillors

ROSSENDALE Council could slash the number of councillors, wards and elections it has in order to meet budget cuts.

A report ahead of next Wednesday’s full council budget meeting recommends that the council considers scrapping the current system of elections in thirds in favour of an all-out vote once every four years - potentially saving £25,000 a year.

A number of committees could also be merged as officers seek to halve the number of meetings and make democratic processes, such as licensing, more efficient.

The authority must make savings of almost £1.4m in the next year.

Further changes to the role of the borough’s Mayor are also due to be discussed, with some councillors and more than 70 per cent of public consultation respondents keen to see a ‘modern Mayor’ introduced.

Council deputy leader Sean Serridge said the ruling Labour party were committed to looking at every possible option when it comes to saving money.

Coun Serridge said: “We are determined to meet those cuts by reviewing efficiency and looking at new ways of working.

“Our electoral system in Rossendale is clumsy and expensive for such a small council.

“We’re asking the Electoral Commission to conduct a review of arrangements in Rossendale with a view to reducing the number of councillors by between one-third and half, to 18 or 24 instead of the present 36.”

To make changes to the number of members per ward, the council requires permission from the local government boundary commission for England, which, at present, would not be possible before 2015.

Introducing a ‘modern Mayor’ would mean the borough’s first citizen loses their personal driver and would not wear their formal robes and chains to as many events.

Last June the council’s civic matters working group agreed that the Mayor would be limited to attending no more than 15 civic events outside Rossendale, and the council thinks it may be able to save up to £50,000 a year with more changes.

Comments (3)

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9:51am Sat 23 Feb 13

mavrick says...

In 1979 when one Maggie Thatcher came to power, she and her accomplice Mr Ridley said they would like to see the American style of local government introduced. It did raise a few protests at the time but, they said councils should only meet once per year to issue contracts to private sector companies to run the services. It seems to be heading that way very quickly, Do we want this type of democracy or not?. It also seems the cuts are forcing councils to merge, maybe we could have super authorities, we could have a council based on north east lancs. I wonder where I have heard that one before? The real Tory agenda is coming to the surface day by day, the hatred of the public sector and the NHS is the true evil of conservatism in Britain. We must enjoy being punished for their mistakes because we simply let them get away with it every time.
In 1979 when one Maggie Thatcher came to power, she and her accomplice Mr Ridley said they would like to see the American style of local government introduced. It did raise a few protests at the time but, they said councils should only meet once per year to issue contracts to private sector companies to run the services. It seems to be heading that way very quickly, Do we want this type of democracy or not?. It also seems the cuts are forcing councils to merge, maybe we could have super authorities, we could have a council based on north east lancs. I wonder where I have heard that one before? The real Tory agenda is coming to the surface day by day, the hatred of the public sector and the NHS is the true evil of conservatism in Britain. We must enjoy being punished for their mistakes because we simply let them get away with it every time. mavrick

7:59pm Sat 23 Feb 13

pdb951 says...

Get rid of them all. They are next to useless.
Get rid of them all. They are next to useless. pdb951

7:21pm Mon 25 Feb 13

nmclean77 says...

I can't believe it has taken this long to spot the real Tory agenda, which is of course, privatisation of services.

The only people that privatisation is good for are board members and shareholders, which in a lot of cases are Tory donors, and will have Tory associations sat on their board, but the bad news is that many hard working people will suffer.

The next two years will be even more tough that the last three of the Tory reign, and there will be many a lasting change due to their greed.
I can't believe it has taken this long to spot the real Tory agenda, which is of course, privatisation of services. The only people that privatisation is good for are board members and shareholders, which in a lot of cases are Tory donors, and will have Tory associations sat on their board, but the bad news is that many hard working people will suffer. The next two years will be even more tough that the last three of the Tory reign, and there will be many a lasting change due to their greed. nmclean77

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