Chichester District Council leader backs plan for fewer councillors

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A NUMBER of Chichester district councillors are not pulling their own weight, leader Heather Caird has suggested.

Speaking at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting (March 3), where plans to reduce the number of Chichester District Council members by 25 per cent 
were discussed, Cllr Caird said there was a ‘balancing act to be done’.

Clearly there are some councillors who spend very much less time in the council offices than others

Heather Caird

“At the moment we are fairly heavily loaded in one part of the council, where part of the work is being done by not so many of the people, so I think there’s a balancing act to be done there,” Cllr Caird said.

“And clearly there are some councillors who spend very much less time in the council offices than others, and we only have to look 
at the attendance sheets to see that.

“There’s a good deal of balancing that can be done to even out the workload and now for the whole process to be more streamlined and 
efficient.”

A public consultation has been carried out on plans to reduce the number of councillors from 48 to either 35 or 36 members.

Letters were sent out to seek the view of every parish council in the district, though that ‘produced very little response at all’, Cllr Philip Coleman reported.

The plans were welcomed by cabinet members, with Cllr John Connor saying he believed the two Selsey wards, which currently have five members, including him, could be reduced by two.

Cllr Coleman said the Local Government Boundary Commission for England was to carry out a review of the number of West Sussex County Council members.

The changes would take place after the 2019 election, and the plans will now be discussed at today’s full council meeting (March 10).