THE NUMBER of councillors on Eastbourne Borough Council should be cut, according to a radical shake up being put forward by local Conservatives.
The party has come up with a plan which it says will make the council ‘sleeker and leaner’ by cutting the number of councillors from 27 to 18 - with a potential saving of £100,000.
Conservative leader David Elkin said, “The council is likely to be announcing a series of cuts during the next few months - some of which are unavoidable. “However, we believe that in this age of austerity, councillors should be looking at themselves first and foremost – and we believe their number could be reduced by a third.”
At present there are 27 councillors – three in each of the nine wards across Eastbourne. Mr Elkin said local Conservatives had been looking long and hard at some of the costs associated with the council, given the tough financial climate.
Meads councillor Nigel Goodyear said, “The Coalition Government has already proposed a reduction in the number of MPs – and this reduction in the number of councillors could potentially save Eastbourne council tax payers almost £100,000 over the next four years – I am confident that this will be welcomed by local residents and this is in line with promises given by the Conservatives before the General Election.”
The party is now seeking the views of all interest parties.
Conservative borough and county councillor Colin Belsey said, “We want to hear from interested parties such as local businesses and residents’ associations to see if they would support such a move.
“We are also looking at freezing or even reducing the current expenses available to councillors, and will keep residents advised on our progress.”
Cllr Elkin said he has written asking for a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to go ahead.