Two members ‘needed’ for Barleythorpe

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Rutland County Council has backed changes to its electoral wards.

The council was asked in December to respond to changes recommended by the independent Local Boundary Commission for England as part of an 11-week public consultation.

The commission proposed there is one more councillor elected to the council and changes to the boundaries of nine local wards - meaning that the council has 27 councillors in the future. It has suggested there should be an additional councillor representing the Oakham North West ward - which would incorporate Barleythorpe if the proposals went 
ahead.

But at Monday night’s full council meeting councillors voted to respond to the commission by telling them that 28 ward members - its original proposal for boundary changes - would be better.

Debbie Mogg, the council’s director for resources told councillors 28 members would be more suitable as Barleythorpe residents see themselves as “separate from Oakham” and it needed two councillors to represent it to achieve “electoral equality”.

The commission recommends the Barleythorpe parish continues to share ward members with the Oakham North West Ward with an increase from two to three members.

Mrs Mogg added this is not effective because Barleythorpe has its own parish council and has a desire to remain unique.

Councillors backed the proposed response to the recommendation unanimously.

The consultation takes place until February 
19.

The commission has also recommended a reduction in the number of wards by one from 16 to 15 but the council has suggested increasing the number of wards to 17 to incorporate Barleythorpe as a ward.

The full recommendations can be viewed at the consultation.lgbce.org.uk website.

If you would like to take part in the consultation visit the website or e-mail reviews@lgbce.org.uk

n What do you think of the proposals? E-mail smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk with your views.