Number of councillors to drop

BOSTON Borough Council has agreed to reduce its number by two, in a bid to address electoral imbalance in the area.

At the full council meeting on Monday night, members voted in favour of suggesting a council of 30 members, rather than the current 32, as part of an upcoming review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).

The number was recommended as officers believed the council could function effectively with this reduced make-up, especially as the cabinet deals with most important matters, reducing the need for a large full council.

Boston was chosen for the LGBCE review because of the current imbalance in wards in the borough, which mean that almost 40 per cent of wards have an uneven number of voters.

Most councillors in the chamber on Monday said they were in support of the review and what it was aiming to achieve, but several raised questions over the process and the implications for the future.

Coun Paul Goodale said: “The smaller the council gets, the idea of having a leader and a cabinet becomes more remote.

“This council has traditionally been a hung council. It’s only the last two council elections that have put a total majority of any party in council. It’s unusual for this council to have the sort of majority the present administration has.

“If we go back to the committee system, but we are using the present system as a reason to reduce numbers, it does not stand up.”

The LGBCE will return its verdict on the change in December.