In their first policy announcement of the new year prior to local elections in May, Scarborough Borough Council Labour Group has called for a reduction in the number of councillors representing the borough’s area from 64 to 28. This would be part of a radical shake-up of local councils, by creating one council providing all services instead of the present two – North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council. In the Borough Council area there are currently 50 Borough Councillors and 14 County Councillors.
Cllr. Colin Challen, Leader of the Labour Group on Scarborough Borough Council said “The system of local government here is untenable, inefficient and ineffective. Having two councils doesn’t make any sense when the trend now is to get more done under one roof and removing duplication. Regardless of the government’s relentless war against local councils, this proposal makes sense. In the context of how many councillors we could have as a unitary authority, based on having two councillors in each existing county division, we could easily manage with 28 in the Scarborough Borough area. The fact that we currently have 64 is not tenable. But we want to see this reduction in numbers taking place in a radical overhaul. We are not talking about cutting for cutting’s sake. We would move to a system closer to say Leeds, where 99 councillors represent around 750,000 people. In Scarborough, 64 councillors represent around 100,000 people, so we can see what a difference there is.”
The Labour Group favour a unitary council solution which would have two or three authorities replacing the present eight in the North Yorkshire area.