Need to make size of wards more equal

AT THE first ever Weston Town Council election in 2000 I believe there was a turnout at the polls of 26 per cent, with an estimated extra cost

AT THE first ever Weston Town Council election in 2000 I believe there was a turnout at the polls of 26 per cent, with an estimated extra cost on council tax bills of £9.In 2007, to help increase casted votes and reduce costs, both town and North Somerset Council elections were held on the same day. For the 31 town councillors, 26,361 votes were cast, of which 14,539 or 55 per cent went to the winning candidates. The range for a winning councillor was a mere 178 votes for Ebdon to 725 for Ashcombe Wood, with wards varying from 299 cast votes to 1,472 per candidate. What does this tell us about the wards and democratic process? It clearly shows there is an urgent need to make the size of the wards more equal in the number of electors in order for councillors to represent a similar body of people.To rectify this anomaly, and the fact that Weston Town Council has the largest number of councillors for a town in the country, could I suggest before the next round of elections, that the incoming councillors consider ways of reducing their number to 15 and stop allowing councillors to stand for both Weston town and North Somerset. This will help reduce costs and make those elected more responsible for their actions, whilst adding to their prestige. Already the extra cost on the council bill has gone up over three times.The landslide victory of the Tories gives them the opportunity to take action for the betterment of the people of Weston, which if grasped will help overcome the present situation where officials run the show with little regard to elected members.C J PEVERELLE - Edinburgh Place, Weston


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