Flintshire Council could lose over half of its councillors if a proposed merger goes ahead
Over half of all county councillors in Flintshire and Wrexham would be axed if a proposed merger goes ahead.
The figures published in a consultation update presented to councillors on Thursday September 24, suggest the number of councillors in the Wrexham and Flintshire council wards would decrease from 116 to 55 should the two councils merge.
The Welsh Government is proposing a ratio of one councillor to 4000 electors, the ratio effectively dictates the number of councillors each council has.
In Flintshire the current ratio is one counsellor to 1691 electors which, as a ratio is greater than the Wales average of one counsellor to 1806 electors
The councillor ‘cull’ would not be exclusive to north Wales, should the Welsh Government get its way and the 1:4000 ratio adopted, the number of councillors across the whole of Wales would decrease from 1248 to 616 – just over 50 percent.
Flintshire has two merger options on the table one being (option1) a merger with Wrexham the other (option2) a merger with Wrexham and Denbighshire.
Option 2 the three-way tie up would see a reduction in councillors across Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire of around 56 percent
Concerns have been raised around the potential size of any proposed new wards, Saltney Stonbridge Cllr Veronica Gay fears larger wards will ‘dilute’ the local voice, she says;
“A big problem for Saltney is the current split which is totally unbalanced, Mold Junction Ward has approximately 1000 residents where as the Stonebridge Ward has four times that figure.
Making Saltney one ward with one councillor really would dilute the local voice and that in my view, would be totally the wrong decision.
Saltney is a forgotten town now it’ll become an invisible border outstation with no support at all – reduce AM’s and increase local Cllrs will be cheaper and more efficient️”
Councillors have until November 9th to respond a Welsh Government consultation on the proposed electoral arrangement, following that the Local Government (Wales) Bill receives Royal Assent.
A further brief consultation on final draft Directions to Boundary Commission regarding Initial Review
January/February 2016 – Directions to the Boundary Commission are formally ‘made’
March/April 2016 (within 2 months of the Directions being made) – Boundary Commission publishes a timetable for the programme of initial reviews
Spring 2016 – Boundary Commission develops and consults on its ‘Policy and Practice’ (as per S19(2) of the Local Government (Wales) Bill 2015)
Early Summer 2016 – Boundary Commission publishes its final ‘Policy and Practice’ and begins initial reviews, probably on a phased approach (with North Wales likely to be later in the timetable until WG confirms whether there will be 2 or 3 councils in North Wales)
By 31st July 2018 – Boundary Commission submits reports to Ministers on initial reviews Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com