NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 29th, 2019.
The number of councillors in Flintshire is expected to drop by five after revised proposals were published this week.
An early draft of the plans suggested that the amount of politicians on the local authority could be reduced from 70 to 63.
However, the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales has now altered the recommended figure to 65, which would result in one councillor for every 1,836 eligible voters in the county.
It would also see the amount of existing electoral wards slashed from 57 down to 39.
The commission said the shake-up was designed to provide effective local government in Flintshire.
In their report, officials said: “The number of elected members for the county of Flintshire has been determined by the commission’s council size policy and methodology.
“At present the size of the council at 70 members is seven members above the methodology’s overall aim.
“The commission reviewed the electoral arrangements for the county, in light of its methodology and took into account the representations which had been made.
“For the reasons given below, the commission believes that in the interests of effective and convenient local government a council of 65 members would be appropriate to represent Flintshire.
“As can be seen from the maps, the proposed arrangements provide for a significant improvement in electoral parity across the county.”
According to the document, the areas with the largest levels of under-representation are Argoed and New Brighton, which are recommended to be combined to create a single ward represented by two councillors.
Meanwhile, the largest example of over-representation is in Mostyn, although no changes have been suggested to the current arrangements.
Before making their recommendations, officials considered responses at both county and town council level, as well as from local political parties and members of the public.
They said that plans to reduce the voting age in Wales to 16 had also been taken into account.
They added: “The figures supplied by the county of Flintshire show a forecasted increase in the electorate of from 119,361 to 124,407.
“The commission is aware that there are Welsh Government proposals to legislate to extend the franchise to include 16 and 17-year-olds and foreign nationals not currently eligible to vote, at the 2022 local government elections.
“The commission‘s council size policy utilises the entire population to determine council size and these two groups were included in the council size deliberations.”
The draft proposals can be viewed on the commission’s website at www.ldbc.gov.wales/reviews/08-19/flintshire-draft-proposals
Feedback can also be e-mailed to email@example.com or by writing to Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales, Hastings House, Cardiff, CF24 0BL.
A 12-week consultation on the plans starts next Thursday and closes towards the end November.
The commission will then submit its final recommendations to the Welsh Government at a later date.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).