A PROPOSED overhaul of council boundaries in East Staffordshire has been rejected by members.
East Staffordshire Borough Council has decided against a proposal offered by central Government, which had suggested decreasing the number of councillors who represent the borough.
Local authorities up and down the country were approached by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and given the option to reduce councillor numbers to help decrease financial burden, with many councils currently feeling the economic strain.
It was the department’s view that a number of authorities in the country were looking to shed numbers in an attempt to save cash.
But on the contrary, East Staffordshire Borough Council has signalled its intention to increase councillor numbers rather than lose any members over the coming years.
Had the council taken the proposals on board, the next county elections would also have been brought forward one year to 2014.
A letter to East Staffordshire Borough Council from Brandon Lewis, the Government’s parliamentary under secretary of state, read: “I know that among the measures councils are considering for increasing efficiency and minimising costs are proposals to reduce the size of the council , looking to have, after the necessary electoral review, fewer councillors than currently.”
But leader of the Conservative-controlled East Staffordshire Borough Council Richard Grosvenor said that with significant development proposed across the borough over the next 20 years, in which 4,000 homes are expected to be built, there would be a need for more councillors in the near future.
He said: “The thrust of the DCLG’s offer to councils is to review boundaries and the number of members in each boundary – councils may reduce the number it has.
“I do not feel we should proceed with that offer.
“This area is looking to grow over the next 20 years and will be looking for more councillors to represent those areas.”