The number of councillors in County Durham could be cut by 28 in new plans to change the size of local boundaries. 

The Local Government Boundary Commission says councillor numbers should be reduced from 126 to 98, and now needs to draw up new boundaries to reflect the change.

The commission, which is the independent body that draws electoral boundaries, is reviewing arrangements in County Durham to ensure councillors represent a similar number of electors and that divisions are able to help the council work effectively.

Residents’ views on a proposed new pattern of electoral divisions for the council are sought and a 10-week consultation on the proposals is now underway and will run until January 30.

The Northern Echo: The current boundaries throughout County Durham The current boundaries throughout County Durham (Image: The Northern Echo)

In order to ensure that proposals reflect community ties and identities, the commission is interested in hearing people's thoughts about issues including:

  • which communities should be part of the same division
  • the facilities people share, such as parks, schools and shopping areas
  • issues neighbouring communities face and have in common
  • new developments that have changed the focus of communities
  • roads, rivers, railways or other features that people believe form strong boundaries between communities

Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the commission, said: “We want people in County Durham to help us. We are starting to draw up new electoral divisions for County Durham.

"We want our proposals for new electoral arrangements to reflect communities. We also want them to be easy to understand and convenient for local people.

“Residents and local organisations can help us understand community ties and identities at this early stage of the process.

“It’s easy to get involved. Go to our website. Or you can e-mail or write to us.

“Just tell us what you think and give us some details why you think that. It’s really simple, so do get involved.”

People can give their views here:

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