Number of Horsham district councillors could be increased

Horsham District Council SUS-160714-093947001
Horsham District Council SUS-160714-093947001

The number of Horsham district councillors should be increased by three, according to the ‘consensus’ view from members.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) have asked Horsham District Council to propose the number of members that it thinks it will need in the future.

It will then consider the proposal and come to a view on the total number of future councillors in the local authority area.

An Extraordinary Council meeting next Thursday (July 21) is due to approve a submission to the LGBCE proposing the size of the council increase from 44 to 47 members from May 2019.

According to a report due to be discussed next week: “The consensus view of its members is that the number of members should be increased to 47 to enable: continuation of effective and efficient member-led decision making through the cabinet and leader model, overview and scrutiny to continue to be energised, and skilled and strong representative views to inform decision making and policy development through participation in the advisory function.”

The last review in 2002 saw the size of the council increase from 43 to 44 members, and decreased the number of wards from 25 to 22.

A presentation by the LGBCE to members explained that the fifteen ‘nearest neighbours’ which are similar authorities to the Horsham district showed that the number of councillors ranged from 36 to 57, with the average being 47.

Members at HDC were asked to complete a survey with 70 per cent responding. Three quarters of respondents arguing that the council should have a number of councillors between 44 and 50. Seven members supported a reduction in the number of councillors.

The report points out that the Horsham district is due to see its population increase by seven per cent between 2014 and 2024.

The second phase would see changes to ward boundaries as the LGBCE has already identified that seven of the 22 wards within the district need to be corrected to deliver electoral equality in the future.

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