Cllr Richard Kemp, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Liverpool, has written to the Local Government Boundary Commission calling for a review to reduce the number of councillors in Liverpool from 90 to 60.
In his letter, which is being followed up with a Council Resolution Cllr Kemp says:
It is now 13 years since the Commission reported its review of the local government boundaries in Liverpool. The new boundaries that the Commission recommended were introduced in 2004 and since then much has happened:
1. We have introduced a mayoral system which has placed almost all the power of the Council in one pair of hands shielded by a cadre of Cabinet Members;
2. We have lost many of our services and are doing about 40% less than we did when the last review was enforced. We also have lost some of our powers. We no longer place people onto a Police Authority and will shortly cease to provide councillors for the Fire & Civil Defence Authority.
3. Communications especially social media have massively improved.
The result of these three things is that we now have many more councillors than we actually need to run the authority and this trend will shortly be exacerbated by the decision to have an elected Mayor for the City Region from May 2017.
I believe therefore that given these changes and the fact that it is now 13 years since the last review it would be an opportune time to do 2 things:
1. Reduce the number of councillors by one third to 60 in 30 x two members wards with councillors coming up for election every two years on a four yearly cycle:
2. If necessary review the boundaries of the 30 existing wards although my quick review of the current numbers indicates that the wards are broadly OK.
If this was to be done quickly, especially if the boundaries themselves did not need reviewing, this could enable a new council to be elected in May 2017 at the same time as we will vote for a new Liverpool City Region Mayor”