[C]OPELAND Borough Council is asking residents whether the number of parish councillors should be reduced in three of its parishes.
Beckermet with Thornhill, Seascale and Parton Parish Councils have all asked the council to consider lowering the statutory number of councillors, after struggling to fill vacancies.
Residents are being asked whether they agree with the following:
- In Beckermet with Thornhill: the number of parish councillors reducing from 14 to 12
- In Seascale: the number of parish councillors reducing from 12 to 8
- In Parton: the number of parish councillors reducing from 13 to 11
All three of the parish councils have found it difficult to get enough people to stand for election, and as a result have ‘co-opted’ several people since the last election in 2015. This means the person does not have to be elected.
A parish council can co-opt members as long as the number of elected councillors remains above a certain level. If it falls below this, the parish council can no longer co-opt members or take lawful decisions, and the borough council would appoint members to run the parish council in the meantime.
The borough council has a duty to make sure community governance is effective and convenient and reflects the identities and interests of the community. It says this duty would still be fulfilled, even if there were fewer parish councillors in these areas.
The terms of reference and initial proposals papers for all three consultations are available to view at www.copeland.gov.uk. You can respond by emailing your views to [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] before February 6 2017.