Meeting will discuss whether south Norfolk needs 46 district councillors

The people of Diss are represented by South Norfolk Council

The people of Diss are represented by South Norfolk Council - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The number of councillors representing the south Norfolk area is to be examined in a district review.

South Norfolk Council has been asked to explore what it considers is the appropriate amount of elected members it has by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

The council has drawn up two options to be looked at for implementation by 2019 – keeping the present number of 46 councillors or reducing that number to 39, the minimum it is said is needed to run the authority.

On Wednesday the two options are to be considered by the council's electoral review committee with members recommended to consider and determine the size of the authority to be applied in 2019.

Papers to be discussed show that in 2022 if there are still 46 councillors they would represent on average 2,556 of the electorate, while if there were 39 members they would represent 3,014 electors.

Documents also show backbench councillors on average perform 53 hours of council work a month while those who claim special responsibility allowances work 77 hours.

It is also said councillors invest a 'significant' amount of time in their roles and if numbers were reduced it may impact on the democratic role of the council.

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A report says: 'If a further increase in time was expected of councillors, it would increase the likelihood of the council being largely composed of those who had the time and financial resources to undertake the role, and reduce the potential of the council representing the society it serves.'

The council has until April 12 to send a draft submission to the commission.

Would you be happy if the number of councillors was reduced? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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