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Stroud District Council has proposed a radical reduction of 41% in its number of councillors – from 51 to 30. The idea would be to have single councillor wards.

But would turkeys vote for Christmas? The Gloucestershire News quotes a Conservative and a Lib Dem councillor opposing the idea. There is also opposition from the Labour councillors. They feel it doesn't go far enough as bigger savings would be achieved with abolishing the council and having a unitary system in Gloucestershire. That doesn't quite explain why in the absence of such a reorganisation having the expense of 51 councillors is justified rather than having 30.

There are arguments on both sides on this issue. Would fewer councillors mean more power for the bureaucrats? If they just had one councillor and you wanted your interests represented what if he was on holiday, or ill, or quite useless? If you have two or three then the odds are better that someone will take up your case. But the clarity and accountability of (smaller) single councillor wards could also have advantages apart from saving money from the councillor allowances budget.

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