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North Norfolk to get eight fewer district councillors

PUBLISHED: 11:52 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:33 12 April 2017

The North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) offices in Cromer.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) offices in Cromer. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

North Norfolk will be represented by eight fewer district councillors in future under boundary review recommendations.

How North Norfolk District Council's ward boundaries would look after the shake-up. Graphic: Rob McVicar.How North Norfolk District Council's ward boundaries would look after the shake-up. Graphic: Rob McVicar.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England proposes that North Norfolk District Council has 40 instead of 48 councillors.

It also proposes that these councillors should represent eight two-councillor wards and 24 single-councillor wards across the district, from a present total of 14 two-member and 20 single-member wards - a decrease in ward number from 34 to 32.

Changes to the boundaries of 29 wards are also recommended, with three wards (Briston, Poppyland and The Raynhams) remaining the same.

NNDC corporate director and head of paid service Steve Blatch said: “The new proposal ..reflects the way our district has changed over the years and will ensure equality of representation for voters, as well as the increased ability to reflect ward issues and identities, and ensure fair workloads for our councillors.”

However, the review has been criticised by Stephen Burke, chairman of North Norfolk Labour Party, who said it had “failed its own three tests”.

He added: “Its recommendations don’t meet their key criteria, namely to improve electoral equality by equalising the number of electors each councillor represents, reflect community identity, and provide for effective and convenient local government.

“How does allowing some voters to elect two councillors while others can only elect one councillor be fair? Some of the wards do not reflect community identity, such as combining Felmingham with Trunch. And reducing the number of councillors from 48 to 40 means that some voters will see even less of their local councillor, particular where councillors fail to attend meetings and don’t fulfil their community role.

“This is a missed opportunity. The losers will be our communities which need a strong voice to win the resources and the services local people need.”

An eight-week public consultation was held to ensure the number of voters represented by each councillor was about the same across the district.

Any changes recommended by the LGBCE are subject to approval by Parliament and would come into effect in May 2019.

What do you think of the recommendations? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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