Views sought on North Norfolk Council seat reduction plans

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Residents are being encouraged to have their say on proposed boundary changes which would reduce the number of members of North Norfolk District Council.

A public consultation has been launched on the measures which, if implemented, would see the number of councillors reduced from the current 48 to 40.

The proposals have been drawn up by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, which launched a public consultation on them this week.

The plans would see the number of wards in the district reduced from 34 to 33, with the number of wards being represented by two councillors halved from 14 to seven.

The measures would not result in an reduction of the number of councillors representing wards in Fakenham and surrounding villages.

But most wards will see boundary changes, with only three in the entire district, including the Raynhams ward, being unaffected.

The commission says the changes are necessary to ensure that wards across the district are as balanced as possible.

Their report said: “Some councillors currently represent many more or fewer voters than others.

“This is ‘electoral inequality’. Our aim is to create ‘electoral equality’, where votes are as equal as possible.”

The proposals are based on council forecasts for how it expects the district’s electorate to grow between now and 2022.

They suggested that voter numbers were likely to increase by around seven per cent over that period.

Much of the growth is expected to be centred on towns like Wells, Holt, Cromer and North Walsham.

To find out more about the proposals, and have your say on them, visit, www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/eastern/norfolk/north-norfolk.

The consultation, which opened on Tuesday, will continue until Friday, January 30.

Final recommendations are due to be published in the spring. If approved, the new structure would be in place in time for the next district council elections in May 2019.