Does Wellingborough have too many councillors?

A Wellingborough Council meeting
A Wellingborough Council meeting

Questions are being asked over the number of councillors representing the Wellingborough area and how ward boundaries could be redrawn.

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking people whether the borough should continue to be represented by 36 councillors or whether there should be fewer in the future.

The six-week public consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will also consider changes to the number, names and boundaries of the council’s wards.

Currently there are 36 councillors representing 16 wards across the Wellingborough constituency and Max Caller, chairman of the commission, said it was the public’s chance to help shape its council.

He said: “This is your chance to shape your council for the future. We are asking people across the borough if they agree that 36 councillors is still the right number to represent Wellingborough in future.

“If you don’t agree that Wellingborough should be represented by 36 councillors, we would like you to tell us your alternative and why you think there should be more, or fewer, members of the council in the future.”

A spokesman for the council said that several meetings were held with commission representatives at the end of last year and it was recommended that the council should maintain the 36 elected members after taking into account councillor responsibilities, ward work, work on decision-making and scrutiny committees, as well as the projected increase in the population.

The spokesman added: “The Boundary Commission agreed with the council’s recommendation and is now taking that decision out to consultation.

“If people have any views about the number of councillors needed to effectively represent the interests of the borough then they should take the opportunity to comment.”

Cathy Mulholland, 51, of Fulmar Lane, Wellingborough, said: “I believe we have too many councillors. On our ward which is Hemmingwell, we have three councillors.

“I think it is a waste of money, as I am sure one can represent the area, or one on each committee meeting.”

The current phase of consultation closes on February 18 and residents can have their say online at consultation.lgbce.org.uk.