Tuesday, 21 October 2008

How many councillors does it take to make a borough?

The answer is 57. No, wait, 45. Oops, no, 35.

And so, I was educated last night, when it came to light that not all councils have the same number of councillors, and indeed, Waverley has a significant number more than others.

This was raised almost as a passing remark last night, at our Conservative group meeting, which we always hold prior to the council meeting itself, (which is tonight). We review the agenda, and debate any issues as required, and ensure an appropriate level of understanding about each recommendation in each set of minutes.

So, when discussing ‘Value for Money’ (a term employed to describe a broad set of initiatives to save council resources, and to improve council services), it was pointed out that councillors (by dint of their numbers) could save money by simply losing some of them!

Well, it’s not that simple of course. But it is doable. And I for one would be entirely happy investigating it. It would require the Boundary Commission to conduct a review, and then the measures to be voted upon.

One councillor suggested that we should “put our hands up if we were prepared to stand down”, in the belief that if turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, then neither would we vote ourselves out of a role. But, in my case, this councillor was mistaken. I would be very happy to have an independent review conducted, and, if I happened to lose my seat, well, I’d be deeply disappointed, as I enjoy and feel privileged to serve. But, if it’s right, then it’s right. My end goal is right goods and services from the council to residents, and if fewer councillors helps the cog wheels of local government go round, then I’d be for it.

No comments: