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West Lindsey District Council

Parish Matters THE NEWSLETTER FOR PARISH AND TOWN COUNCILS THROUGHOUT WEST LINDSEY

November 2010

We need your support District council’s rallying call against plans which will cut the number of West Lindsey councillors

W

est Lindsey District Council is calling for support from parish councils to beat plans that would cut the number of district councillors from the current 37 to just 33. The Boundary Commission is currently reviewing our district and one of the suggestions is that the total number of councillors should be reduced by four. But West Lindsey believes this would be a bad move because councillors already have large areas to cover and a cut to 33 members would just make matters worse. Instead, the Council supports the idea that West Lindsey should be made up of 36 councillors. Leader of the Council, Cllr Burt Keimach said: “West Lindsey covers an enormous area of almost 450 square miles and there are 128 parishes - 72 of which have parish councils. “Most of our councillors are in regular contact with the parishes in their patch and they also attend things like village hall management meetings, parish planning meetings, annual general meetings of local organisations, playingfield committees and

Making a Difference

youth club management groups. “The workload is enormous, and plans to make district councillors responsible for even larger areas will only serve to put more pressure on an already heavy workload and decrease the representation that parishes can get from their local district councillor,” said Cllr Keimach. He added that the rural nature of West Lindsey and its high percentage of elderly residents meant that councillors often took on the role of counsellors too. “Many councillors support elderly people

with advice and friendship way outside their usual role and I think many vulnerable people would miss out if the workload of councillors was increased even more,” said Cllr Keimach. The Council has also pointed out that the area’s poor road network means that elected Members can often face a two hour return journey when attending meetings at the authority’s headquarters. A Councillors’ Commission report says that workloads must be reasonable if we want people to decide to be councillors and West Lindsey’s contention is that a reduction to 33 councillors will only deter people from taking public office. Cllr Keimach added: “We believe that local people identify with local councillors and that reducing the number of representatives on West Lindsey only serves to reduce that identify. “It is our contention that a Council of 36 Members will sustain decision making and scrutiny, enable representation at a regional and national level and ensure that the needs of individual citizens and local communities are addressed by local councillors.”

Send us your support We would like to know how parish councils and individual parish and town councillors feel about the Boundary Commission’s proposals. Please send us your comments by December 18 at the latest and we will make sure they are passed on. Send your comments to communicationsteam@west-lindsey.gov.uk


Parish Matters