Should the number of councillors serving Colchester be slashed?

Essex County Standard: Should the number of councillors serving Colchester be slashed? Should the number of councillors serving Colchester be slashed?

COLCHESTER residents can vote to cut the number of local councillors serving them after a new consultation was launched.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has proposed the number of councillors elected to Colchester Council should be cut from 60 to 51.

The consultation, which follows talks with the political parties represented on the authority, could save around £100,000 a year.

Max Caller, chairman of the independent commission, said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future."

To have your say, visit consultation.lgbce.org.uk

Comments (23)

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10:19am Tue 4 Mar 14

stevedawson says...

How exactly do you mean sir?across the throat perhaps?
How exactly do you mean sir?across the throat perhaps? stevedawson
  • Score: -2

10:20am Tue 4 Mar 14

jim_bo says...

Colchester isn't that big as a borough, can anyone explain to me why it shouldn't be 30 instead of 60??
Colchester isn't that big as a borough, can anyone explain to me why it shouldn't be 30 instead of 60?? jim_bo
  • Score: 8

10:28am Tue 4 Mar 14

catflap1 says...

How many Colchester counsellors does it take to change a light bulb ?


it would not actually get done - because they would be too busy allowing strip joints and swingers clubs to open.
How many Colchester counsellors does it take to change a light bulb ? it would not actually get done - because they would be too busy allowing strip joints and swingers clubs to open. catflap1
  • Score: -1

10:44am Tue 4 Mar 14

Slamdoor312 says...

30 inept councillors, instead of 60 inept councillors ?.

Would at least save some money, I suppose
30 inept councillors, instead of 60 inept councillors ?. Would at least save some money, I suppose Slamdoor312
  • Score: 4

10:59am Tue 4 Mar 14

romantic says...

What we actually need are councillors who are not part of any political party, but can act based on what they really feel rather than having to toe the party line. We end up with party lackeys too scared to rock the boat, and it is why CBC has lurched from one screw-up to another. We need councillors with backbone!
What we actually need are councillors who are not part of any political party, but can act based on what they really feel rather than having to toe the party line. We end up with party lackeys too scared to rock the boat, and it is why CBC has lurched from one screw-up to another. We need councillors with backbone! romantic
  • Score: 15

11:07am Tue 4 Mar 14

meadowlady says...

Don't tempt me!
Don't tempt me! meadowlady
  • Score: 4

11:58am Tue 4 Mar 14

hughie-s says...

romantic wrote:
What we actually need are councillors who are not part of any political party, but can act based on what they really feel rather than having to toe the party line. We end up with party lackeys too scared to rock the boat, and it is why CBC has lurched from one screw-up to another. We need councillors with backbone!
We also need one's that turn up, especially for important issues, not like 10 of the current 60 (named in the minutes available on CBC website) that didn't attend the meeting to set the budget. One or two maybe but a 16.66% absence rate?
[quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: What we actually need are councillors who are not part of any political party, but can act based on what they really feel rather than having to toe the party line. We end up with party lackeys too scared to rock the boat, and it is why CBC has lurched from one screw-up to another. We need councillors with backbone![/p][/quote]We also need one's that turn up, especially for important issues, not like 10 of the current 60 (named in the minutes available on CBC website) that didn't attend the meeting to set the budget. One or two maybe but a 16.66% absence rate? hughie-s
  • Score: 12

1:16pm Tue 4 Mar 14

DailyGazette says...

yes
yes DailyGazette
  • Score: 3

1:20pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Reginald47 says...

jim_bo wrote:
Colchester isn't that big as a borough, can anyone explain to me why it shouldn't be 30 instead of 60??
It's actually the second biggest Borough in Britain.
[quote][p][bold]jim_bo[/bold] wrote: Colchester isn't that big as a borough, can anyone explain to me why it shouldn't be 30 instead of 60??[/p][/quote]It's actually the second biggest Borough in Britain. Reginald47
  • Score: 7

3:09pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Jess Jephcott says...

I vote that we ban politics from the borough council and have councillors who represaent a total cross section of knowledge and abilities - especially ones who appreciate our heritage. I see no reason to reduce their numbers just for the sake of it. Is there any reason behind reducing them, other than to appease the malice of the usual suspects on this site?
I vote that we ban politics from the borough council and have councillors who represaent a total cross section of knowledge and abilities - especially ones who appreciate our heritage. I see no reason to reduce their numbers just for the sake of it. Is there any reason behind reducing them, other than to appease the malice of the usual suspects on this site? Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Will Quince says...

You can view the submissions on Council size made by the Political Groups on CBC and the supporting evidence here: http://www.lgbce.org
.uk/all-reviews/east
ern/essex/colchester
-fer
You can view the submissions on Council size made by the Political Groups on CBC and the supporting evidence here: http://www.lgbce.org .uk/all-reviews/east ern/essex/colchester -fer Will Quince
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Tue 4 Mar 14

No! I am Spartacus says...

In short, the Tories, Labour and Independants want to reduce to 51. Lib Dems want to keep the 60.

Lib Dems have the most councillors (26), followed by Conservatives (23), Labour (8) and Independents (3).

No wonder Lib Dems want to keep the same amount as they would be most affected & I suspect the Tories and Labour are hoping to hawk a few seats off them if things are reduced (although, if reductions are made, I'm sure any conversation now would be a pleasant tea party compared to the fight over where the boundaries would be.)

As someone else said above, I agree that mainline parties should not be part of local politics (the times I have had candidates come to my door to comment on national politics- being absolutely nothing to do with local pot holes or housing stock- has been amusing.) Unfortunately voters are confused by this too and still vote by party bias.

To counter parties though, people need to be willing to offer their time and commitment to sort out local issues. We can all criticise on here, but who is willing to 'roll up the sleeves'? In that regard, prospective councillors deserve some respect.

However, if more people showed interest in local governance we wouldn't end up with the VAF, wasted money on bike lanes and an eroding history of the oldest recorded town in England. We (the public) should be holding councillors to account, not blindly following headlines.

French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) said “In democracy we get the government we deserve”. Too true...
In short, the Tories, Labour and Independants want to reduce to 51. Lib Dems want to keep the 60. Lib Dems have the most councillors (26), followed by Conservatives (23), Labour (8) and Independents (3). No wonder Lib Dems want to keep the same amount as they would be most affected & I suspect the Tories and Labour are hoping to hawk a few seats off them if things are reduced (although, if reductions are made, I'm sure any conversation now would be a pleasant tea party compared to the fight over where the boundaries would be.) As someone else said above, I agree that mainline parties should not be part of local politics (the times I have had candidates come to my door to comment on national politics- being absolutely nothing to do with local pot holes or housing stock- has been amusing.) Unfortunately voters are confused by this too and still vote by party bias. To counter parties though, people need to be willing to offer their time and commitment to sort out local issues. We can all criticise on here, but who is willing to 'roll up the sleeves'? In that regard, prospective councillors deserve some respect. However, if more people showed interest in local governance we wouldn't end up with the VAF, wasted money on bike lanes and an eroding history of the oldest recorded town in England. We (the public) should be holding councillors to account, not blindly following headlines. French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) said “In democracy we get the government we deserve”. Too true... No! I am Spartacus
  • Score: 2

10:19pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Agree with "Spartacus". I did not realise the quote about government we deserve came from France.
.
Unfortunately most people have zero interest in what the council does as long as the rubbish is collected. The eight cabinet councillors make the decisions so the other 52 councillors have no more power than any member of the public. As such they should lose the fixed payments and get expenses only.
Agree with "Spartacus". I did not realise the quote about government we deserve came from France. . Unfortunately most people have zero interest in what the council does as long as the rubbish is collected. The eight cabinet councillors make the decisions so the other 52 councillors have no more power than any member of the public. As such they should lose the fixed payments and get expenses only. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 4

11:15pm Tue 4 Mar 14

jut1972 says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
I vote that we ban politics from the borough council and have councillors who represaent a total cross section of knowledge and abilities - especially ones who appreciate our heritage. I see no reason to reduce their numbers just for the sake of it. Is there any reason behind reducing them, other than to appease the malice of the usual suspects on this site?
Saving cash Jess. Estimated at 100k
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: I vote that we ban politics from the borough council and have councillors who represaent a total cross section of knowledge and abilities - especially ones who appreciate our heritage. I see no reason to reduce their numbers just for the sake of it. Is there any reason behind reducing them, other than to appease the malice of the usual suspects on this site?[/p][/quote]Saving cash Jess. Estimated at 100k jut1972
  • Score: 3

2:59am Wed 5 Mar 14

Boris says...

It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties.
Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right.
What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.
It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties. Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right. What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil. Boris
  • Score: 3

3:00am Wed 5 Mar 14

Boris says...

council
council Boris
  • Score: 0

9:21am Wed 5 Mar 14

Catchedicam says...

Boris wrote:
It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties.
Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right.
What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.
So Boris, maybe the call should be, not to reduce members, but to take more responsibilities for them by becoming a unitary authority, it seems to work well enough for Southend and Thurrock.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties. Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right. What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.[/p][/quote]So Boris, maybe the call should be, not to reduce members, but to take more responsibilities for them by becoming a unitary authority, it seems to work well enough for Southend and Thurrock. Catchedicam
  • Score: 4

11:11pm Wed 5 Mar 14

William George says...

If some cut backs have been made and continue to be made to important front line services Colchester residents have had to accept and put up with them.

The councillors as a suggested total of 40 instead of the present 60 for Colchester could and should be an appropriate total.
A cut back and save would also be made unless those councillors are performing not suitable.
If some cut backs have been made and continue to be made to important front line services Colchester residents have had to accept and put up with them. The councillors as a suggested total of 40 instead of the present 60 for Colchester could and should be an appropriate total. A cut back and save would also be made unless those councillors are performing not suitable. William George
  • Score: 1

1:26am Thu 6 Mar 14

Boris says...

Catchedicam wrote:
Boris wrote:
It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties.
Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right.
What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.
So Boris, maybe the call should be, not to reduce members, but to take more responsibilities for them by becoming a unitary authority, it seems to work well enough for Southend and Thurrock.
Yes, I agree with that. Unitary authorities not only save money, they eliminate the buck-passing between authorities over roads, public transport, etc. I would also want to return all schools to local authority control, and put an end to the system of "academies" and "free schools".
[quote][p][bold]Catchedicam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties. Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right. What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.[/p][/quote]So Boris, maybe the call should be, not to reduce members, but to take more responsibilities for them by becoming a unitary authority, it seems to work well enough for Southend and Thurrock.[/p][/quote]Yes, I agree with that. Unitary authorities not only save money, they eliminate the buck-passing between authorities over roads, public transport, etc. I would also want to return all schools to local authority control, and put an end to the system of "academies" and "free schools". Boris
  • Score: 1

8:43am Thu 6 Mar 14

Catchedicam says...

Boris wrote:
Catchedicam wrote:
Boris wrote:
It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties.
Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right.
What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.
So Boris, maybe the call should be, not to reduce members, but to take more responsibilities for them by becoming a unitary authority, it seems to work well enough for Southend and Thurrock.
Yes, I agree with that. Unitary authorities not only save money, they eliminate the buck-passing between authorities over roads, public transport, etc. I would also want to return all schools to local authority control, and put an end to the system of "academies" and "free schools".
Quite agree with the idea around academies and free schools, that is just back door privatisation, by giving away the school assets.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Catchedicam[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: It is idle to call for no politics in local government, for it is not going to happen. Candidates might call themselves independent, but they would all have party ties. Reducing councillors from 60 to 51 is not sufficient. 40 would be about right. What we need is to restore responsibilities to local councils. They should be running serious stuff like schools . Then they would earn their money. But governments over the last 30 to 40 years have stripped away almost all their powers, leaving them only with the boring stuff like potholes and bins. No wonder most people are not keen to stand for their local copuncil.[/p][/quote]So Boris, maybe the call should be, not to reduce members, but to take more responsibilities for them by becoming a unitary authority, it seems to work well enough for Southend and Thurrock.[/p][/quote]Yes, I agree with that. Unitary authorities not only save money, they eliminate the buck-passing between authorities over roads, public transport, etc. I would also want to return all schools to local authority control, and put an end to the system of "academies" and "free schools".[/p][/quote]Quite agree with the idea around academies and free schools, that is just back door privatisation, by giving away the school assets. Catchedicam
  • Score: 0

8:48am Fri 7 Mar 14

co2 says...

We have a mixed bunch of councillors,some are good some are a waste of space,some consult with local residents,others just work for the good of their party,cut the number in half,get rid of the rubbish.
We have a mixed bunch of councillors,some are good some are a waste of space,some consult with local residents,others just work for the good of their party,cut the number in half,get rid of the rubbish. co2
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Fri 7 Mar 14

jim_bo says...

"However, if more people showed interest in local governance we wouldn't end up with the VAF, wasted money on bike lanes and an eroding history of the oldest recorded town in England. We (the public) should be holding councillors to account, not blindly following headlines."

Sadly the VAF was pushed through by 4 people of which two are definitely still working for the Council.

Councillors only sign off decisions made by officers, many who wouldn't survive in the real world. For a unitary authority to work we'd need better people as officers (they can't even get bin bags right) and an array of councillors to actually represent the people who elected them.

Sadly I agree that Partizan politics only cloud the issues at a local level and the whole tit for tat politics is extremely tiresome, most of which turns the voters off.

Perhaps some of contributors here might stand....?
"However, if more people showed interest in local governance we wouldn't end up with the VAF, wasted money on bike lanes and an eroding history of the oldest recorded town in England. We (the public) should be holding councillors to account, not blindly following headlines." Sadly the VAF was pushed through by 4 people of which two are definitely still working for the Council. Councillors only sign off decisions made by officers, many who wouldn't survive in the real world. For a unitary authority to work we'd need better people as officers (they can't even get bin bags right) and an array of councillors to actually represent the people who elected them. Sadly I agree that Partizan politics only cloud the issues at a local level and the whole tit for tat politics is extremely tiresome, most of which turns the voters off. Perhaps some of contributors here might stand....? jim_bo
  • Score: 1

10:20pm Fri 7 Mar 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Nothing can be done about the money wasted building the hideous VAF but there is no reason councillors could not discuss viable uses. Not one of the sixty councillors is willing to even mention the VAF but come the elections most will be re-elected. So the huge financial subsidy of the Firstsite parasites will go on regardless of public opinion. I have repeatedly pointed out the lost government grants including the P&R because the council's reputation stinks. The financial difficulties developing the "cultural quarter" are another example of the lack of business support for this arrogant municipal authority. I cannot imagine any rational person willing to join the disorganised rabble in the Town Hall.
Nothing can be done about the money wasted building the hideous VAF but there is no reason councillors could not discuss viable uses. Not one of the sixty councillors is willing to even mention the VAF but come the elections most will be re-elected. So the huge financial subsidy of the Firstsite parasites will go on regardless of public opinion. I have repeatedly pointed out the lost government grants including the P&R because the council's reputation stinks. The financial difficulties developing the "cultural quarter" are another example of the lack of business support for this arrogant municipal authority. I cannot imagine any rational person willing to join the disorganised rabble in the Town Hall. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 1

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