Do we need so many Councillors?

As you may know, the Borough of Bury is represented by 51 elected Councillors.  

Bury is split into 19 “wards”, each of which represent an area covering approximately 5,000 houses (9,000 adult residents).

Ramsbottom is one such ward.  I am one of your elected Councillors.  But like the other wards, Ramsbottom has three Councillors in total.

Town Hall

Over the last few years, there has been a significant amount of streamlining of management, staff, committees and decision-making structures at Bury Council.

In view of the ongoing pressures on budgets, at the recent Council meeting on 4 April, I asked the Council Leader whether it was now time to look at the costs incurred of having so many Councillors representing such a small Borough.

I urged the Council Leader to invite the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to conduct an electoral review of the Borough of Bury.

I suggested that each “ward” could have two Councillors instead of three – saving over £100,000 in direct costs and further back office costs.

Unfortunately, the Council Leader dismissed this suggestion out of hand.

This suggestion has been adopted in Rossendale – they are asking whether each of their wards can be adequately represented with 2 Councillors per ward.  I cannot see why Bury cannot follow suit.

I will continue to look at areas where efficiency savings can be found.