Agenda item

Submission Document

The BEAWP to agree the submission document and make a recommendation to Full Council on the revised number of Councillors.


Nick Hughes asked Members whether they had any comments to make regarding the contents of the submission document.


Members asked questions and made comments as follows:


  • How would combining the Governance and Audit Committee and Standards Committee into a single committee be done?
  • The submission documents seemed that combining these two committees would be done;
  • Would committee membership numbers change as a result of changing the total number of councillors from 36 to 44?
  • It was important to go with a number that was likely to be acceptable to the LGBCE;
  • This review should have been carried out ten years ago;
  • Going with a total number of councillor 40 might be too low it was too close to the original number that the working party had proposed;
  • Did the LGBCE guidance require the Council to focus on the trend as established by the 15 Councils comparators?
  • Was there no risk that in six years’ time after 2027 the councillor number would be out of kilt again in comparison to other Councils? 
  • Could an assumption be added to the report to reflect that other Councils’ populations would grow and therefore there would be changes which were likely to require Thanet District Council having to conduct another review earlier than would be the case (i.e. every 10 years)?
  • Was it possible for the Council to change this number after this meeting?
  • Could a Members Briefing be held before Full Council in order to advise Members on how the recommended total number of councillors of 42 was arrived at?
  • Could an updated graph be made available to Members or a narrative explaining the pros and cons be used instead?


Nick Hughes and Ingrid Brown, Head of Legal and Democracy & Monitoring Officer responded to Members questions and comments as follows:


  • Discussions held between Nick Hughes and the Section 151 Officer had indicated that the two committees could be combined;
  • This approach had been done by other Councils. This could be done at Annual Council when committees would be reconstituted;
  • It was however important to consider the merits of combining committees;
  • The Council could also decide to change the membership sizes of committees in line with the new total number of councillors adopted;
  • If the Council submitted a number that was not suitable the LGBCE would come back to a negative response and that would be the end of the Council’s contributions to this stage of the review process;
  • The Council had to have regard to what the other Councils (CiPFA 15) were doing. That was what the guidance advised;
  • Yes, the risk was there that the new figure could be out of kilter in the next few years. However, the Council could apply to the LGBCE to conduct another review outside of the LGBCE review cycle. That was what Canterbury City Council did and they were currently carrying out their own review;
  • Once the recommended number went to Full Council it would not be possible to change it and that was what would be submitted to the Commission;
  • Officers would consider adding some wording in the report explaining the pros and cons of the approach taken in deriving the total number of councillors.


As a result of the additional information that was presented to the Boundaries and Electoral Arrangements Working Party, Councillor Everitt proposed, Councillor Kup seconded and Members agreed to recommend to Full Council that a proposed figure of forty-two (42) councillors be total number of TDC councillors to be forwarded to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).

Supporting documents: