Electoral review process: Full Council backs initial council size proposal of between 105 and 115 councillors
The Local Government Boundaries Commission for England (LGBCE) advised the Council in the autumn of 2015 that it was going to undertake a review of the divisional boundaries within Cornwall including the number of councillors.
The Council's Electoral Review Panel has been working on this issue since the spring of 2016 including detailed work on forecast electorates across Cornwall. The Council has to submit to LGBCE by 18 October its first proposal on what the size of the council should be after the elections of 2021.
The Panel has taken evidence on councillor workload and also carried out work on comparisons with other councils across the country. The evidence has been clear that, despite the apparently large size of Cornwall Council, in terms of the number of councillors in proportion to electorate numbers, Cornwall is not over represented. In fact, Cornwall has relatively fewer councillors per thousand electors than most other councils. The Panel has put forward the proposition that the current number of 123 councillors is justifiable. However, it accepts that over the next few years, there will be some reduction in councillor workload in County Hall and that efficiency savings in how councillors work within their own communities should be achievable. The Panel has recommended that the initial proposal to LGBCE should be for a council size of 105-115 councillors.
On 6 October, Full Council endorsed this recommendation and this is the proposal that will be submitted to LGBCE.
Further work will continue to refine the work done to date and a second submission will be made in December and the final submission in March 2017.
LGBCE will consider the evidence put forward by Cornwall Council and will make the final decision on council size after next year's elections in May. Whatever figure LGBCE decides on will be the figure used post 2021.
Work will then be done to determine the actual boundaries of all the electoral divisions across the county based upon the new number of councillors.
The Council's press release issued after the Full Council meeting can be viewed at Council size submission.