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Leader pours cold water on cutting councillors
A CUT in the number of councillors representing Wycombe may not be such a good idea in reality, council leader Alex Collingwood has warned.
A scrutiny committee suggested last month reviewing the number of members at Wycombe District Council - currently 60 - as part of a budget report looking at possible savings.
But it is actually not quite that simple, Cllr Collingwood said.
Firstly, an electoral review process could take four to five years and secondly it is a matter decided by the boundary and electoral commissions, he said.
He said: "The realities are that the electoral review process and the practical terms mean actually it's going to be four or five years hence, or further, before we can put anything into practice.
"It's an extremely intricate process and ultimately the decision rests with electoral commission."
The recent cut in the number of Buckinghamshire County Councillors - to come into effect at May's elections - has not been ideal, he believes, not taking into account properly the community boundaries.
Cllr Collingwood, from Marlow, said three communities, with disparate requirements, could end up being represented by just one person and he questioned how this can work.
He said: "It's something which is nice to wish for but the reality is because the third party is making decisions for you, what you get back in return is not what you would have thought it might be."
Cllr Simon Parker, Lib Dem, said: "I've got nothing in principle against the reduction of councillors but I'm concerned that it shouldn't just be a carte blanche arrangement, it should reflect the workload of councillors.
"I'd like to feel that we wouldn't want to do a simple knife cut into the size of constituencies. I think some work needs to be done before we go-ahead with that."