Number of county councillors could be reduced in boundary review

Both Horsham and Adur districts could each lose one of their county councillors as part of a planned boundary review.

The council chamber at County Hall, Chichester ENGSUS00120130416123201
The council chamber at County Hall, Chichester ENGSUS00120130416123201

Currently, West Sussex County Council has 71 members but its size will be looked at by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in 2015/16.

The county council’s governance committee has recommended the size of the council should be reduced to 69, which it says will ‘provide the best electoral equality across different district areas’.

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Currently, Chichester district has the highest number of voters per councillor at 9,013, while the lowest is in Adur at 7,982 per representative, which is nine per cent below the average.

Horsham is the second lowest, with 8,532 people per councillor, a 2.7 per cent variation.

If the changes are agreed, Adur would then have the most voters per councillor at 9,579, while Horsham would be the second highest, at 9,307.

Adur currently has six county councillors, while Horsham has 12.

Adur’s six divisions are Kingston Buci, Lancing, Saltings, Shoreham, Sompting and North Lancing, and Southwick, and is represented by three Conservatives and three UKIP councillors.

Meanwhile Horsham has eight Conservatives, two Lib Dems and two independents.

According to the county council’s projections the voting population is set to increase from 622,815 in 2015 to 663,678 in 2021, an increase of 40,863.

The boundary review is taking place because a third of the county council’s electoral divisions were found to have populations either plus or minus ten per cent of the average electorate.

The recommendations are set to go before the county council’s full council meeting on Friday, May 22.

The electoral review panel, an advisory group to the county council’s governance committee, will then be looking to draw up the new divisions.

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