Commission recommends fewer Harrogate councillors

Harrogate town centre

Harrogate town centre

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THE number of Harrogate councillors should be cut by a fifth, according to an independent review.

The Local Government Boundary Commission has recommended the authority should have 40 councillors.

That would represent a cut of 14 compared to the current arrangements and the town’s residents are being given the chance to have their say.

The commission is also inviting comments on where the boundaries of the wards for the new-look council should be drawn.

Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the Commission, said: “We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Harrogate.

“As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.

“If you have a view about which communities or neighbourhoods should be part of the same council ward, then we want to hear from you.

“And if you think a road, river or railway makes for a strong boundary between communities in your part of Harrogate, then this consultation is for you.

“Your views will make a difference.

“We will carefully consider all evidence that is provided during this phase of the review whoever it is from and whether it applies to the whole of Harrogate or just a small part of the borough.

“Residents will then have a further chance to have their say after we publish our draft recommendations in June.”

The recommendations for Harrogate are in line with similar reviews of other parts of Yorkshire with the number of councillors being reduced and ward boundaries redrawn.

In Harrogate, the commission wants to create wards that are roughly equal in terms of the number of residents each councillor represents.

It also wants to create wards that are based on recognisable local communities

Residents can make their views known on the issue of ward boundaries until April 4.

Further information and maps of the current ward boundaries can be found at www.consultation.lgbce.org.uk.

The commission is expected to publish its recommendations in June for a furtehr consultation.

The changes are expected to come into effect at the 2018 council elections.

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