West Berkshire Council

Council shake up means fewer District Councillors

The number of councillors could reduce from 52 to around 42.

Ballot paper being put in ballot box

West Berkshire Council has proposed a reduction to the number of councillors elected to represent residents.

A proposal to reduce the number of councillors from 52 to 42 (+ or - 1), was unanimously approved by Councillors at an Extraordinary Meeting of West Berkshire Council yesterday (Tuesday 22 November). The reduction in the number of councillors will now be proposed to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England - which is responsible for conducting reviews of local authority electoral arrangements. The Commission will consider the change and may subsequently hold a public consultation before deciding whether to accept the proposed number of councillors.

In reaching a decision to reduce the number of councillors, the proposal considered future governance arrangements, population changes as new homes are built across the district and comparison with other local authorities.

Now that the number of councillors has been considered, the next stage will be to review individual ward boundaries wards so that all councillors represent a similarly sized population.

Speaking about the decision Councillor Roger Croft, Leader of West Berkshire Council said: "Last year the  Local Government Boundary Commission accepted our request to review councillors and ward boundaries and we are now working together to deliver this change. I welcome the proposed reduction to 42, as it will deliver savings whilst allowing us to still effectively represent West Berkshire residents."

The proposed ward boundary changes will be the subject of an extensive public consultation by the Local Government Boundary Commission. The changes, if approved, will take effect at the next district council elections which are expected in May 2019.