Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cutting the cost of Democracy.

In my opinion the 'bravest' decision taken by the Liberal Democrat - Conservative Coalition has been to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 - while equalising the electorates at around 75,000. And all to be completed by 2013. Its all linked to a change in our Westminster voting system from 'First Past The Post' to an 'Alternative Vote' system in time for the next General Election in 2015. The 50 reduction in MPs is to reduce the cost of democracy. The same thing is happening within my local council.

This blog tries to keep you up to date with the significant happenings at Powys County Council. Today, the draft proposals by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales to review electoral arrangements in Powys landed on my desk. Nothing like as radical as I'd expected - and I'm told not as radical as the Councillors themselves expected either.

The draft proposals are to reduce the number of Councillors from 73 to 64. A drop to 60, or even less, had been expected. In Montgomeryshire, the number of Councillors is proposed to drop just 3 - from 33 to 30. Its proposed that the average electorate per councillor should rise from 1,417 to 1,616. A rise to 1,750 had been expected.

All we're really interested in is whether the changes throw up any juicy battles. I fear there will be surprisingly few bloodbaths. Perhaps Stephen Hayes (Montgomery) against Linda Corfield (Forden) could be the best as their two constituencies are proposed to be merged. Other battles may emerge between Bobby Morgan and Beryl Vaughan, Roche Davies and Rachel Davies, and Simon Baynes against Barry Thomas. I fear retirements may well deprive us of the spectator sport that these battles would provide. A shortage of such sport will not be the case in respect of the new Parliamentary constituencies.


Anonymous said...

I can think of a few wards I would like to have seen scrapped.

Toque said...

I hardly think that the explosion of lords can be considered 'cutting the cost of democracy' but fewer MPs from Scotland and Wales will be welcomed in England, even if we do have English representation cut by a smaller percentage (and even though we don't have specific national representation like the Scots and Welsh do with their parliament and assembly).

My personal preference would be to turn the Commons into an English parliament with 400 members and abolish the Lords completely in favour of an elected British parliament with powers of scrutiny over the national parliaments.

Anonymous said...

Or why can't MP's just take a pay cut? they do very little for their money!!!

Anonymous said...

if it means losing Glyn as our MP then i am all in favour of this!!!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous - What?! And have the jester back? No thanks. Glyn is a serious politician for serious times.