Councillor cuts are considered

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones

The number of councillors serving Doncaster could change under new proposals being considered in a potentially wide-reaching review of the council.

Later this summer the Local Government Boundary Commission for England will begin an electoral review of Doncaster - including reviewing the number of councillors elected in future.

In advance, the Boundary Commission has asked the council to put forward its views about before a public consultation is scheduled to start in a few months.

The council and any other interested parties have until late July to submit their initial proposals.

Doncaster’s three Intervention Commissioners, called in to help run the council, have submitted their thoughts and say the council could be better served by having fewer councillors operating more efficiently and strategically and elected once every four years by ‘all-out’ elections, ultimately held at the same time as the Mayoral Election.

The commissioners believe reducing the number of councillors by approximately a third, from 63 to 40 or thereabouts, would allow them to be better supported corporately and become more engaged in the challenges facing Doncaster.

Once the commission has taken its view on the number of councillors, it will draw up new ward boundaries to ensure each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters, and that local wards reflect the interests and identities of local communities.

The commission will hold public consultations on ward boundaries as the review progresses.

Lead intervention commissioner, Rob Sykes, said: “This is our initial view on how the governance arrangements in Doncaster could be improved by reassessing the roles and expectations of councillors.”

Deputy Mayor Glyn Jones said: “We will be considering all factors before making a submission which fairly represents the best interests of Doncaster residents. Councillors provide a vital link between residents and the local authority and have a key role.”