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Councillor Debbie Davies calls for fewer representatives
9:00am Wednesday 31st October 2012 in News
Political leaders have given a mixed reaction to calls to investigate cutting the number of representatives serving on Bradford Council.
Tory Councillor Debbie Davies, who was elected for Baildon in the May local elections, has called for Council Leader David Green to investigate if a cull of councillors’ positions would be “feasible”.
Coun Davies said: “It is something that could be done. My view is that savings have to be made and no one or no department should be immune to making those savings.
“Every political party has its own interests – and it could be like turkeys voting for Christmas – but I think it should at least be investigated.”
However, Coun Dave Green, leader of the Labour-controlled Council, said cutting the number of councillors could prove a false economy.
The Boundary Commission may decide that the authority needs more than the current 89 councillors across 30 wards.
All wards in Bradford district have three councillors each, apart from Wharfedale, with two.
Coun Green (Lab, Wibsey) said: “There is no guarantee that there would be any savings. There would be a cost to the Council to be included in the review, which may say the Council needs more, not fewer, councillors.
“I know no politician is loved but the fact is that I know a lot of councillors from all parties who, even with three ward councillors, are working themselves full-time.” Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the Council, said: “It is not a simple equation that cutting councillors will save money. If you cut the numbers to one councillor per ward, you may end up with the situation that the Boundary Commission says we need to have more wards.”
Green Party leader Coun Martin Love said: “I would not be in favour of reducing the number of councillors because there are a number of practical issues, such as when we are dealing with planning. If you are on the planning committee you cannot speak on behalf of, or against, your constituents’ planning applications. One of my colleagues will have to.
“Having just one councillor per ward would scupper that.
“Cutting the number of councillors would be a false economy.”