Councillor calls for number of councillors to be cut by a third

Councillor Tom Waterhouse

Councillor Tom Waterhouse

First published in News
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An Enfield borough councillor this week called for the number of councillors at the authority to be cut by a third.

Speaking at his final full council meeting, Cllr Tom Waterhouse told fellow councillors that as whip for the Conservative group, he feels the current number of representatives does not provide good value to the public.

He said: “Being whip for the Conservative group for the past four years has meant it's been my job to monitor contributions and attendance rates of all councillors.

“Doing this has led me to be firmly of the view that we could cut the number of councillors by a third and not harm the level of service we provide to residents".

During his speech, he pointed out that the average attendance of Enfield councillors at meetings was 82 per cent.

The cllr will not be seeking re-election during the local on May 22, 2014 to focus more time on his career.

He also said that the average for the bottom third of the attendance table is 69 per cent, which he described as “not good enough”.

Comments (3)

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11:54am Sat 5 Apr 14

dons24pelliparclose says...

Cllr Waterhouse as whip for the Conservatives criticises the level of councillor attendance...... It is not only attending meetings to justify their allowance that matters but positively contributing to the work of scrutiny committees holding the Executive to account and helping residents resolve their problems

As to reducing the number of councillors, perhaps Cllr Waterhouse needs to communicate his views to the local Government Boundary Commission for England. The size of electoral wards and number of councillors was originally set for Greater London so as to facilitate one-third of councillors to be re-elected similarly as happens in non-Metropolitan areas
Cllr Waterhouse as whip for the Conservatives criticises the level of councillor attendance...... It is not only attending meetings to justify their allowance that matters but positively contributing to the work of scrutiny committees holding the Executive to account and helping residents resolve their problems As to reducing the number of councillors, perhaps Cllr Waterhouse needs to communicate his views to the local Government Boundary Commission for England. The size of electoral wards and number of councillors was originally set for Greater London so as to facilitate one-third of councillors to be re-elected similarly as happens in non-Metropolitan areas dons24pelliparclose
  • Score: 2

10:15am Sun 6 Apr 14

london organiser says...

This is a BNP policy that was first put to Barking&Dagenham council in 2011.
This is a BNP policy that was first put to Barking&Dagenham council in 2011. london organiser
  • Score: 0

10:31am Mon 7 Apr 14

Cllr_TomWaterhouse says...

dons24pelliparclos is absolutely right - attending meetings is one part of being a Councillor - positively contributing to the work of scrutiny committees, holding the Executive to account and helping residents resolve their problems is just as (if not more) important.

Unfortunately the article didn't report all of my comments which made exactly that point. I've been a scrutiny panels where of the nine Councillors there, up to five don't make a contribution in a two hour meeting. Some don't even speak.

Looking across the 21 Council Wards, the the bulk of Ward work (helping residents with problems) seems to be done by two of the three Councillors. Given all of the above that's why I think we could cut the number by a third and not harm the level of service provided.
dons24pelliparclos is absolutely right - attending meetings is one part of being a Councillor - positively contributing to the work of scrutiny committees, holding the Executive to account and helping residents resolve their problems is just as (if not more) important. Unfortunately the article didn't report all of my comments which made exactly that point. I've been a scrutiny panels where of the nine Councillors there, up to five don't make a contribution in a two hour meeting. Some don't even speak. Looking across the 21 Council Wards, the the bulk of Ward work (helping residents with problems) seems to be done by two of the three Councillors. Given all of the above that's why I think we could cut the number by a third and not harm the level of service provided. Cllr_TomWaterhouse
  • Score: 2

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