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Councillors reject cut in numbers

8 January 10 16:21 GMT

Proposals to reduce the number of councillors in Stoke-on-Trent have been rejected by the city council.

A government body set up to look at politics in the city said in 2008 that voters had been "short changed" and the political system was "damaged".

The Boundary Committee has since proposed cutting the number of councillors from 60 to 45 and creating new wards.

It will consider the council's view and make a final decision later this year.

'Lack of flexibility'

Earlier this year, the council agreed to reduce its numbers to between 52 and 56.

In a statement, the council said: "This city council regrets the lack of flexibility allowed in drawing up ward boundaries by being based on only 45 members and recommends the Boundary Committee takes into consideration and do their best to accommodate the representation received during the consultation process."

There are currently 20 wards in the city, each with three councillors.

The Boundary Committee will draw up a map of its proposed wards in the spring and will then consult residents and the council.

In a report in 2008, the Stoke-on-Trent Governance Commission said there was a "deep seated malaise" in the city's politics.

Reducing the number of councillors was among 14 recommendations made by the commission in 2008 which were accepted by the council.

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