Cutting number of councillors is a great idea

Cutting back the number of borough councillors is the best idea to come out of the town hall for years.

Nelson Town Hall.
Photo Ben Parsons
Nelson Town Hall. Photo Ben Parsons

For a start, let us take a look at who and what Pendle folk currently have looking after their interests.

First there are 49 borough councillors.

Next comes 15 parish councils and five town councils.

I have not been able to ascertain the total number of town and parish councillors, but if Colne (17), Barrowford (12), Blacko (9), Nelson (22) and Earby (12) is anything to go by, they must number between one and two hundred. So at this point I must ask why we need so many.

What is even more surprising is that, despite all these people who anyone with half a brain can see duplicate each other’s activities, we still have scores of grot spots, damaged and unkempt verges, cracked pavements, and potholed roads.

Do none of this overabundance of councillors see these problems as they travel around their particular patch, or is it that once the word councillor is appended to their name, they suddenly become myopic?

It is highly unlikely our borough councillors will vote to reduce their numbers as there will be far too many with vested interests, but let us assume they do.

There will be no loss of power, for many borough councillors because although town and parish councils are supposed to be non-political, they contain many former and current borough councillors.

From what I have been told, town and parish councillors receive no payment for their services, but nevertheless the taxpayer still foots the bill for administrative and other costs.

As for our borough councillors, last year they cost us nearly £180,000 in expenses, so the bare fact is: can we afford both town/parish and borough councillors, who, to all intents and purposes cover the same ground?

Surely the answer must be a resounding NO.

D. Walker

(via email)