Cuts in councillors will save £110,000

A COST-CUTTING plan which will reduce the number of councillors in a North Yorkshire authority will save £110,000 a year.

Hambleton District Council is entering the final stages of a plan to shrink the number of members by 16 to 28 by the elections in 2015.

It is one of the first councils in the country to ask the Boundary Commission to look into reducing the number of councillors elected to serve a district - and the first in North Yorkshire to get to this final stage of the process.

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The Commission announced this week that it is entering the final stages of the process to implement - placing the proposal before Parliament for approval.

It has been estimated that the move will save the local authority around £110,000 a year - and council bosses argue the move will make it more streamlined.

“Hambleton is leading the way in seeking to reduce the number of councillors,” said council leader, Coun Neville Huxtable.

“The nature of council business is changing all the time - and the need for 44 members is long gone.

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“We believe that 28 councillors will provide a more streamlined service. Each year it will reduce costs to the council by around £110,000 in allowances, IT equipment and ancillary expenses, which at a time of austerity can only be good for Hambleton. And the 28 members will still be more than able to represent the district’s views.

“Hambleton is the first council in North Yorkshire to go through this process - yet again showing we are leading the way in the county.”