Published: 00:00, 18 June 2014 |
Updated: 15:50, 18 June 2014
There are already 84 but county councillors could be pressing the case to have even more of them.
Kent County Council is heading for a stand off with the Boundary Commission, which is reviewing the size of the authority and the way its divisions - the areas represented by councillors - might need to be reorganised.
The review has been triggered because of the wide variations in the number of people there are in more than a third of the county’s divisions.
KCC has been asked to submit its views and there is a growing cross-party consensus there should be no reductions in the number of politicians - and there could be a case for even more.
The cost to the taxpayer of the current 84 members is about £1.7m in allowances and expenses, excluding the costs associated with providing them with officer help and advice.
At a recent meeting to consider KCC’s stance, councillors from all parties indicated they would resist any cull in their numbers.
UKIP councillor Mike Baldock said the likely growth in Kent’s population meant a case could be made for increasing the numbers. “I am starting to think 84 is too low.”
Former KCC deputy leader Cllr Alex King (Con) weighed in to say KCC needed a council of “a similar size” in the future. “It is quite a large county and we need a similar size to the one we have now... rural councillors in particular cover a great deal of ground and enlarging [wards] would make it even more difficult to represent their people.”
Liberal Democrat Ian Chittenden said that with uncertainty over the likely growth in housing numbers, it would be wrong to downsize.
KCC is likely to back up its call to maintain the status quo by pointing to figures that show it already has fewer councillors than it should.
The average number of electors per county council ward across all counties is 9,877. If that was applied to KCC, there would be 111 divisions - 27 more than it has now.
County councillors will decide what the authority’s recommendations to the Boundary Review should be next month.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.