Criticism as Peterborough given three more councillors in boundary shake-up

A map of the new ward boundaries in Peterborough. Image: Local Government Boundary Commission for England
A map of the new ward boundaries in Peterborough. Image: Local Government Boundary Commission for England
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There has been criticism of the decision to give Peterborough three more councillors, each costing nearly £8,000.

Parliament will implement recommendations made by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England which will come in for 2016 when all councillors will be standing for election.

The changes revealed on Tuesday (20 January) will see the number of Peterborough city councillors rise from 57 to 60 - click here to read more about the changes.

Councillors currently receive a yearly allowance of £7,962.

The changes draw new boundaries for each council ward in Peterborough.

The decision was criticised by Independent councillor Charles Swift who sat on the the council’s Electoral Review Group which gave feedback to the boundary commission.

Cllr Swift wants only 38 councillors. He also believes new ones will cost £15,000 each when other expenses are added on to their allowances.

He said: “I sincerely believe the only people who have not been affected by reductions are councillors. The workload of a councillor now is less than 10 per cent compared to what it was years ago.”

The council’s deputy leader Cllr John Holdich believes more councillors are needed due to the rising population.

He said: “I’m fairly happy with the recommendations. You can see the commission has really listened to feedback and they’ve kept rural areas together.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Nick Sandford did not feel the commission had listened to feedback.

He said: “Our party are disappointed with the findings. We feel the northern urban area of Werrington, Paston, Walton and Gunthorpe has been carved up.”

Independent councillor Keith Sharp added: “I’m disappointed. We do not need three more councillors for the city. If anything we need to streamline the system to save costs.”

Labour and Co-operative councillor Ed Murphy said: “I think there are too many councillors and the number should not be increased.”

Cllr Murphy and Stewart Jackson were both disappointed at changes to West Ward.

Mr Jackson, MP for Peterborough, said: “I have no problems with an increase in the number of councillors as Peterborough is a growing city. Some of the proposals however are bizarre and it seems the rural areas west of the city get preferential treatment.”

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Related:

Full details of the Commission’s final recommendations (including maps) can be viewed at: consultation.lgbce.org.uk.

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