Cornwall Council goes for the Mr Whippy option for the number of Councillors
As part of Cornwall Council’s Devolution deal, there was a requirement for the Council to look at how it is governed. This includes the number of Councillors who serve at the Council. For those who do not know, there are 123 Councillors. It is easy to say there are too many, but this is often from a viewpoint of not knowing the role. In Cornwall we also have the difficulty of rurality where we have any small settlements. So too big of an area, makes it difficult to cover.
The Boundary Commission – who ultimately will set the number of Councillors – wanted the review to take place in time for the May 2017 elections. This was impossible to do, and the Council successfully argued for the review to take place, but not implemented till the 2021 elections. This is not about turkeys voting for Christmas, but making sure there is fair representation, and electoral boundaries reflect Cornwall’s settlements.
A lot of work has been undertaken with engagement from lots of different areas including town and parish councils, businesses and other public sector bodies. In gathering evidence, it is clear there are some divisions that have a low number of electors – some too many. These are not in-line with the Boundary Commission own rules, and the Commission is right in asking for a review.
Today, at the full meeting of Cornwall Council the debated and voted on its recommendation for the new size of the Council. This number is for 99 Councillors. This overcomes many of the issues raised by the Commission. The Tory’s want a lower number of 85, but this was resoundingly defeated.
A vote was taken (recorded) and it was approved that Cornwall Council would submitted its recommendation for 99 Councillors by 66 in favour, 13 against and one Abstention.
For those who want to read and understand the whole process and documentation by clicking HERE. There is a lot of documentation.
At the end of the day, it will be the Boundary Commission we set the numbers using their own methods and evidence.