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Dover District Council members could fall from 45 to 35 in shake-up involving Boundary Commission

By Sam Lennon

Dover district could lose more than a fifth of its councillors in a new boundary shake-up.

There are recommendations to slash the numbers from 45 to about 35 in time for the next district election in 2019.

Details were explained in a report by district member Mike Eddy.

Dover District Council - trying to save the homeless from freezing weather
Dover District Council - trying to save the homeless from freezing weather

It said: “DDC has invited the Boundary Commission to review ward boundaries with a view to reducing councillor numbers from 45 to around 35.”

His report added that exactly how many councillors are needed will be worked out by December 8.

After that the number of voter expected in five years will be worked out .

Then new ward boundaries will be drawn, fitting with parish and county boundaries.

This has to be completed by December 2018, in time for the 2019 district elections.
There will be no effect on town and parish councils.

Cllr Eddy, both a Deal district and town councillor, presented his report to a Deal Town Council meeting.

This change is not connected with the previously proposed super-council made up of Dover, Shepway, Thanet Canterbury and Ashford.

Plans for that have been effectively shelved until the Brexit negotiations, preoccupying so many civil servants, are over.

Wards and councillor numbers regularly change with Boundary Commission involvement.

The amount of Dover district councillors went down to 45 by the time of the 2003 local elections, having previously been 56.

Shepway District Council’s elected membership shrank by a third by the time of the 2015 poll.

Its councillor numbers went down from 46 to 30, and 13 large wards replaced 22 smaller ones.

A boundary working party within Thanet District Council is currently looking into reducing the amount of members from 56 to 36.

The tendency lately has been to aim for more matching councillor/resident ratios. It is 1:2,495 in Thanet but 1:4.101 in Shepway.

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