‘We’ll get rid of the council spectators’

Leader of the Lib Dem group Cllr. Douglas Green
Leader of the Lib Dem group Cllr. Douglas Green
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BLACKPOOL’S Liberal Democrats want to slash the number of councillors in the town hall after claiming some elected members do not contribute to decision-making.

As part of their manifesto ahead of May’s local elections, the group is pledging to cut the number of wards making up the council from 21 to 15.

Each area would still have two councillors but the wards would be bigger.

This would reduce the total number of councillors from 42 to 30 and cut the cost of local representation.

Lib Dem group leader Coun Douglas Green said: “Quite a large proportion of councillors don’t say anything or do anything other than vote. But why are they there if they are not making a contribution to the debate?

“I know public speaking isn’t easy, but you have to try.

“Quite often people sit there through four years and don’t say a dickie bird, not just at full council but even in committee.

“Councillors in big cities have much larger wards than we do.

“And if we move to a position where we look at the Fylde coast as one body with just one council in future, we are going to have to cut the number of councillors anyway.”

The group’s manifesto also make pledges to review the cost of town centre parking and make the streets cleaner.

It wants to see the public given more of a say in debates, and the chance to speak for longer to state their case when planning applications go before the council’s development control committee.

Another key platform the party will be fighting on is town centre parking, which it says needs reviewing to encourage more people to shop in the resort, while the group also promises it will “ensure the streets are regularly cleaned, free of graffiti and well lit.”

The Lib Dems currently hold three seats on Blackpool Council but Coun Robert Wynne is stepping down at the elections, and Coun Doreen Holt passed away in January.

Blackpool’s Labour group launched its manifesto earlier this month ahead of the May 5 elections, while the ruling Conservatives are set to launch their election promises in the coming days.