With spending cuts, pressure to hold down Council Tax, reductions in non core services and all the other pressures arising from the recession, I think many local taxpayers will be "somewhat surprised" to read that some members of the Electoral Working Review Group at Kent CC are not only opposing any reductions in the number of elected members, but some are even hinting at an increase.
At a time when services are being cut, staff numbers reduced and charges increased to help balance the books, any proposal to increase the number of elected Members can only be described as political folly. In fact, it is so absurd and indefensible, I can only assume it is a joke by a mischievous journalist or opposition activist trying to damage the reputation of the administration.
Personally, I would suggest that if the committee examining the boundary review really believe that their numbers should be increased, then a rule should be passed that the present cost (covering allowances and expenses) should be frozen. This would result in a pro-rata reduction for each new councillor elected. I suspect if this was the case, any enthusiasm for additional county members would dissipate.
Thank goodness the highly experienced Alex King MBE is chairing this group. Alex will know at first hand just how angry voters are following last years elections. He is far too astute to countenance any move which is bound to cause such anger amongst tax payers of Kent. We are in safe hands.