Arun to call for review of councillor numbers
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Arun District Council is planning to invite the Local Government Boundary Commission to conduct the review in May 2025 according to the draft timetable, with council officers saying it will not be in place until the May 2027 council elections.
Members of the council’s corporate support committee greenlit the timetable at its meeting on Wednesday, January 31, with a final draft to come back to the committee on April 30, before moving to the full council for approval on May 9 this year.
The council agreed in November 2022 to invite the commission to resize the council, to potentially see the overall number of councillors reduced.
The council’s Monitoring Officer and Group Head of Law and Governance, Daniel Bainbridge, said previously members considered savings from having fewer councillors as a good reason to invite the commission.
Mark Turner (Con, Ferring) said results from the 2021 national census showed that Arun district had grown around 10 per cent since the previous census in 2011, so the council should consider the review could end with an increase in members.
Mr Bainbridge said although it was a possibility it was not likely, adding he had not seen or heard of that happening in a review.
He added the commission would determine how many councillors it thought should remain through a ‘data driven’ process.
Leader of the council Matt Stanley (LDem, Marine) asked for a cost report to be completed for how much this would save or cost the council in the years after and during the review – which officers will include in future reports.
A working party is to be established to put the council’s request to the commission, which according to the timetable will run from January 2025 to April/May 2025.
Consultation on the request is set to go before parishes, towns and other ‘key partners’ mid December this year.
The last electoral review into Arun District was in 2014, which saw the merging of several wards such as the now Angmering and Findon, as well as the removal or shortening of several others.