Labour Defeat Lib Dems and Tories Over Bid to Cut Sefton Councillor numbers

From Meols Ward Blog by Cllr John Dodd.

At a meeting of Sefton Council on the 19th November at Southport Town Hall saw Liberal Democrats and Conservatives defeated in their attempt to secure a one third cut in the total number of elected members.  The Labour majority on the Council blocked the move, even though it would save the hard-pressed local authority around £200,000 a year.

The idea of reducing the number of councillors from three to two per ward, a cut in total from 66 to 44, was first put forward by the Lib Dems nearly five years ago.  

Since then Lib Dems have repeatedly put forward the proposal as a saving at Budget time in order to save cuts in front line services, but have seen Labour block it each time using the majority they gained in 2012.

The Lib Dems, proposed a minor amendment to the Tory proposal, which called for half the councillors to be elected every two years, rather than have all councillors elected just once every four years as the Tories were proposing.

“Having even fewer elections, as the Conservatives wish, does save a bit of extra money, but the biggest saving by far is in reducing the number of councillors – and on that we and the Tories are in complete agreement, with them now supporting exactly the same one third cut as the Lib Dems have been saying for years.”

“With both approaches, over the first three years a saving of over £700,000 could be realised.  That’s money that would be available to reduce cuts in front line services.”

In the final vote on the issue, Lib Dems and Conservatives voted together to support the motion, but were defeated by the controlling Labour Group.

Originally publish by Cllr John Dodd here


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