Council shake-up could see members reduced from 41 to 36

The number of councillors representing Cannock Chase residents on the district authority could be cut by seven as part of plans for a new pattern of wards.

Cannock Chase Council Civic Centre
Cannock Chase Council Civic Centre

The Local Government Boundary Commission is proposing to reduce membership on Cannock Chase Council from 41 to 36. It is seeking views from residents and organisations in the district and a 10-week consultation has been launched.

The Commission, an independent body, is reviewing the council to make sure each elected member represents a similar number of electors and that ward arrangements help the authority work effectively.

It is seeking views on areas such as which communities should be part of the same ward and which facilities people share, such as parks, leisure centres, schools and shopping areas, as well as which issues communities have in common. Residents and organisations are also being asked to suggest local features that form strong boundaries between neighbourhoods, such as roads.

Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We want people in Cannock Chase to help us.

“We are starting to draw up new wards for Cannock Chase. We want our proposals for new electoral arrangements to reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.

“Residents and local organisations can help us understand community ties and identities at this early stage of the process. “It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website, or you can e-mail or write to us.

“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved.”

Currently Cannock Chase District has 15 wards, with 11 represented by three councillors. The four wards represented by two councillors are Hagley, Hednesford Green Heath, Hednesford South and Rawnsley.

Elections are held three out of every four years. Cannock Chase is one of just two Staffordshire councils to run this system of “election by thirds”, meaning around a third of seats are contested each election year.

The authority’s leader Olivia Lyons told fellow members of Cannock Chase Council about the review at their annual meeting.

She said: “The Boundary Commission review will substantially change the political landscape of Cannock Chase. The Commission are now consulting on the proposals and asking for our feedback, from local residents, groups and organisations.

“I think as councillors and residents it is vital we contribute. I have requested officers work towards setting up a cross-party working group to make a submission alongside individual responses.”

The consultation will run until August 1.

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