Call to cut number of councillors in Preston

The size of Preston Council should be reduced by more than a quarter, according to one group of politicians.
Coun Pauline BrownCoun Pauline Brown
Coun Pauline Brown

Preston and Wyre Liberal Democrats believe councillor numbers should be cut from 57 down to 42, saying it would save about £62,000 a year in allowances.

They say it would allow for a cabinet of eight members, a scrutiny committee, a planning committee, a licensing committee and a housing committee, each also of eight members, as well as a mayor and a deputy mayor.

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A statement from the Liberal Democrats group drew comparisons with other areas with a similar population and size to Preston, with a similar number of councillors to that proposed by the Liberal Democrats.

It said: “(Recent figures) show that a council with 42 members would have 2,227 electors per councillor – roughly 20 per cent below the UK average for local authorities.

“This would result in Preston Council having 14 wards with three councillors each, a reduction from the current 22 wards. Additionally, a reduction of 28 per cent would save approximately £62,000 per annum in allowances, with other associated costs being potential savings on top of this figure.”

The Liberal Democrats have five members on Preston Council, led by Coun Pauline Brown (pictured).

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A spokesman for Preston Council said: “The final decision on the number of councillors representing the city is made by the Boundary Commission.

“Preston Council has conducted officer and member consultation and submitted a proposal of a reduction to 48 city councillors, which will be considered on equal grounds to all other submissions received by the Commission.”