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Stoke proposes cut in councillors

Stoke on Trent City Council, a Labour led minority administration, currently has 60 councillors for 20 wards. They are proposing to have 44 councillors for 44 wards.

According to the report on Pitts n Potts, the Conservatives were strongly in support, with Cllr Ross Irving speaking up in support. Cllr Gavin Webb of the Libertarian Party spoke "passionately in favour." The BNP were against.

Is this something Conservatives should be supporting elsewhere? After all we are cutting the number of MPs. The money saved might be modest but it sets an example.

One difference, of course, is that if you have a lazy MP who can't be bothered with your case work then there is nothing much you can but vote against him in five years time. If your have a lazy councillor then you can try another one. It is rather bad luck if none of the three can be bothered to help you. So the current system allows lazy councillors to be carried. 

However is that really an advantage? Smaller wards will increase the accountability. The personal vote will count for more so lazy councillors will be more likely to lose. Also they would be more likely to be deselected. Residents fed up with them would be likely to complaint to the Council leader (or their Group leader) if there isn't a ward colleague who can take the matter up.

Should the 44 councillors in Stoke who survive the cull be entitled to give themselves higher allowances?


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