Council condemns boundary review

North Lanarkshire Council has condemned Scottish ministers' acceptance of a review into local government boundaries by the Boundary Commission.

Orders were laid before the Scottish Parliament this week confirming that the number of council wards in North Lanarkshire will increase from 20 to 21, with the number of councillors increasing from 70 to 77 despite objections from the council and residents. The changes will take effect from the local government elections in May 2017.

Councillor Peter Sullivan, who chaired a working group to determine the council's response to the proposals, said: "It's outrageous that our serious concerns have not been listened to. It makes a mockery of having a consultation in the first place.

"All that has happened is that traditional communities will be split and we will have another seven councillors. We estimate the changes will cost more than one million pounds. The boundary commission claim that having these extra councillors and another ward will somehow help the poorest communities. The whole thing beggars belief. Perhaps it would be better to discontinue the idea that the alterations are made by an unaccountable independent body and simply have the Civil Servants‎ do the changes when it is thought necessary. We could then make genuine savings by scrapping the Boundary Commission.

"I also find it astonishing that Scottish Government ministers have accepted no changes in two other council areas because of serious objections and yet they haven't taken our objections seriously at all. It is surely the case that local people and local elected members should have their voices heard. Despite an extensive response making our views clear we have simply been ignored. I urge the Scottish Government to think again."

 

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