Proposed reduction in number of Leighton-Linslade town councillors is abandoned

The White House, Leighton Buzzard
The White House, Leighton Buzzard

A proposal to cut the number of town councillors in Leighton-Linslade is set to be abandoned following local opposition.

The town council was unhappy with plans to reduce the size of the local authority from 21 to 19 members, as part of a review of communities. Other suggestions to abolish the parish ward of Leston and to extend Brooklands ward to include Leston are also due to be scrapped.

A review of the size of town and parish councils, as well as several boundary issues, were being considered by Central Bedfordshire Council’s general purposes committee on Thursday.

The authorities affected and local residents were given the chance to have their say. And where councils argued against a reduction in size, committee members voted in favour of maintaining the status quo.

Under the plans outlined originally, Southcott Ward in Linslade would have had one fewer councillor, with a second member lost if Leston ward disappeared.

That would have seen the 19 councillors made up of Barnabas 3, Brooklands 2, Grovebury 4, Planets 2, Plantation 3, Southcott 3 and St George’s 2. But town council representatives spoke at the committee meeting to oppose the loss of councillors.

They pointed out that town councillors were unpaid volunteers and that 21 councillors was not excessive as the workload could be shared. The consultation result showed 82% of people opposed reducing the number of Leighton-Linslade town councillors (82%).

At the meeting, the town council representatives also called for a way forward to tackle the future expansion issue on the eastern fringe of Leighton Buzzard. See story here...