Coun­cil ward changes are not wel­come

Lo­cal author­ity op­po­si­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Local Council - Dou­glas Dickie

Three of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang’s four coun­cil wards could have their bound­aries changed if pro­pos­als from the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Bound­ary Com­mis­sion get the go-ahead.

Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North, Cam­bus­lang West and Cam­bus­lang East are all ear­marked for change in the pro­posal.

But South La­nark­shire Coun­cil are set to op­pose the move, say­ing the pro­posal could see recog­nised com­mu­ni­ties split in two.

Although the pro­posed maps from the Bound­ary Com­mis­sion have not yet been re­leased, fig­ures sug­gest the pop­u­la­tion of Ruther­glen Cen­tral and North could in­crease from 10,0170 to 12,137.

Both Cam­bus­lang wards would see their pop­u­la­tions cut, from over 12,000 in Cam­bus­lang West to 11,175 and from 11,426 in Cam­bus­lang East to 10,361.

The pro­pos­als also sug­gest cut­ting the num­ber of coun­cil­lors cov­er­ing South la­nark­shire from 67 to 64, although this will not af­fect the lo­cal ar­eas.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Lind­say Free­land, told an ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee last week that some of the pro­pos­als “are not con­sis­tent with what we would de­scribe as ‘com­mu­ni­ties’.”

He also said they had con­cerns about in­clud­ing de­pri­va­tion as a cri­te­ria in de­ter­min­ing wards.

In a re­port to coun­cil­lors, he said there was: “con­cern that re­vi­sions to ward bound­aries will re­sult in changes which will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on area-based com­mu­nity plan­ning.”

Coun­cil­lor David Wat­son, of the SNP Group, told the meet­ing: “I agree with ev­ery­thing that’s said here.

“I’ve not got much con­fi­dence in the Bound­ary Com­mis­sion.”

Eigh­teen coun­cils have al­ready dis­agreed with the pro­pos­als on coun­cil­lor num­bers , with just 10 sup­port­ing them.

A public con­sul­ta­tion will take place over 12 weeks from July with coun­cil­lors be­ing en­cour­aged to make their views known.

The pro­pos­als form part of the com­mis­sion’s fifth re­view of lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­toral ar­range­ments in Scot­land’s 32 coun­cil ar­eas.

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang cur­rently have 12 coun­cil­lors across four con­stituen­cies, a ra­tio of roughly 3733 res­i­dents per coun­cil­lor.

Con­cerns Coun­cil­lor David Wat­son is against the pro­posed changes

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