[T]he Local Government Boundary Commission for England which is currently reviewing the number of Councillors and ward boundaries for Carlisle City Council has today informed Carlisle City Council that it is minded to agree with Carlisle Conservative Councillors view that the number of City Councillors is reduced by 20% from 52 to 39.
The LGBCE is the statutory and independent authority which sets Councillor numbers and warding patterns across England. The first stage of the Carlisle review process aimed to establish the most efficient number of Councillors for the Authority. The LGBCE received three submissions. The Carlisle City Council submission which was backed by the Labour Group requested a figure be set at 45 Councillors, only 7 less than the current figure. Two separate alternative submissions for 39 Councillors (a reduction of 13) were submitted by the Conservative Group and Councillor Trevor Allison. After much consideration by the LGBCE this lower and more radical figure has been agreed to.
Speaking on the decision Councillor James Bainbridge (Conservative- Stanwix Rural) said: “We of course are very pleased that the independent LGBCE in considering the future size of Carlisle City Council has reached the same conclusion as we have. Carlisle City Council has much reduced in it’s operation over the last 20 years, with services such as Leisure and Housing contracted to third parties, and the number of council meetings reduced as a result Local Government reforms. It is only right that the figure of 52, which was set over twenty years ago now should change to reflect this.
The discussions by the Council of these numbers proved heated in November last year with the Leader of the Council (Colin Glover) claiming our submission “failed to present sufficient quality evidence” despite we think having never read it himself. We are grateful to LGBCE for having a more open mind.”
The Council is due to receive further instructions for the second part of the review for Council ward boundaries shortly.