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Proposal to reduce number of councillors agreed

A proposal to reduce the number of Herefordshire Council councillors by four to give electors a fairer representation has been agreed by Herefordshire Council.

In May last year the Local Government Boundary Commission for England announced it would undertake a formal electoral view of Herefordshire starting this Spring.

Members at today’s meeting of council (Friday, March 2) heard that the purpose of the review was to ensure “electoral equality” as far as possible - meaning that councillors should represent similar numbers of electors right across the county, whether they represent a rural or an urban ward.

Currently, the council has 58 councillors. But the number of electors for councillors in wards varies by more than ten per cent in a third of them.

For example, the Hollington ward has 1/3 less voters per councillor than it should have when compared with other wards in Herefordshire.

The proposal will now go to the Local Government Boundary Commission where it will be considered later this month.

If approved, the commission will begin a consultation on the proposals at the end of March.

Importantly, this consultation will solely concern itself with the proposal to reduce the number of councillors from 58 to 54.

No recommendations have been made as to the size or shape of any new wards - this level of detail has not been considered at this stage - it will, however, become the subject of further consultation later this year.

It is anticipated that the changes will be agreed later next year and will come in to effect for the local elections in May 2015.