North Norfolk District Council wants to cut number of councillors - and save £40,000

Councillor John Lee.

Councillor John Lee.

A bid to cut the number of councillors from 48 to 40 has been given the green light by North Norfolk District Council.

The move would save £40,000 in annual allowances.

The council is recommending the proposal to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England which will make the final decision and decide which seats, if any, to lose.

Liberal Democrat members, who broadly supported the reduction, abstained from the vote after their proposed amendment to the report was not passed.

They did not like its references to councillors attending fewer parish council meetings in future because they could email reports to be read out instead.

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And Nigel Lloyd disagreed with the report's assertion that an increase in the use of social media had made it quicker and easier for councillors to deal with their constituents.

? This evening's annual meeting of the council saw Cromer crab fisherman John Lee elected as the new chairman, succeeding Annie Claussen-Reynolds.

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Mr Lee, 52, is related to Cromer's greatest hero, Henry Blogg - the most decorated lifeboatman in the history of the RNLI - through his grandfather Shrimp Davies, Blogg's nephew.

He is due to begin his term of office in style tomorrow by representing the council at a Buckingham Palace garden party.

Mr Lee and his wife Donna have two daughters and a son who all work in the family business. They also have three grandchildren.

He has been a Conservative member for Cromer's Suffield Park ward for the past nine years.

The new vice chairman is fellow Conservative Richard Shepherd.

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