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The Boundary Committee for England is to undertake further limited consultation on the issue of council size as part of the review of the electoral arrangements in the area covered by Hartlepool Borough Council.
Following the publication of its draft recommendations on 14 May 2002 which proposed retaining a council size of 47, The Boundary Committee received submissions from the Mayor and Cabinet of Hartlepool Borough Council proposing a reduction in council size from 47 to 32 members. The Mayor and Cabinet's proposal received a significant amount of local support. The Boundary Committee also received support for retaining the existing council size.
Having considered the proposals from the Mayor and Cabinet and other submissions received, The Boundary Committee considers that it has insufficient information on which to reach a judgement on the most suitable council size. The Committee is therefore proposing to consult further on this issue and is keen to hear from local residents in the Hartlepool area.
Commenting on this decision, The Chairman of The Boundary Committee, Pamela Gordon, says: 'We would like to invite further information on how the two proposed council sizes of 47 and 32 could operate on the ground under the new management structure of a directly elected mayor.
In particular we would also like further information on the representative role that members would fulfil in the new structure and how a council size of 32 would provide for more effective and convenient local government than the existing council size'.
A number of representations that were received from local residents in support of the Mayor and Cabinet's proposed reduction in council size referred to financial savings that would be generated. While The Boundary Committee recognises that there would be financial savings under a reduced council size, it wishes to emphasise that the savings made would be small compared to the overall budget of the council and this would not be considered a deciding factor.
All submissions, including the council size proposals, are available for public inspection at the offices of Hartlepool Borough Council and The Boundary Committee for England. Anyone wishing to make representations to the Committee on this matter should do so in writing no later than 7 October 2002 to: The Team Leader (Hartlepool), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2HW.
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