Boundary Commission still looking to axe two Falkirk councillors

The Boundary Commission is looking to make major changes in Falkirk before the 2017 local elections
The Boundary Commission is looking to make major changes in Falkirk before the 2017 local elections
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The Local Government Boundary Commission is still looking to reduce the number of elected members serving Falkirk Council from 32 to 30.

Leaders for the Labour/Conservative administration and the SNP and Non Alligned Independent Group opposition were informed of the commission’s stance by the council’s chief executive on Thursday.

Last year the council registered opposition to the plan in the council’s official response to the commission, arguing it should actually gain a councillor to take its total to 33, to reflect the growing local population.

At the time Council Leader Craig Martin said: “It’s a concern the commission proposes to reduce the number of councillors in Falkirk, but in areas of a similar size, such as West Lothian, they plan an increase.”

Under the commission’s proposal’s, which are out to consultation until May 19, Falkirk Council wards Bo’ness and Blackness, Denny and Banknock, Bonnybridge and Larbert and Lower Braes will remain the same.

However, if the commission’s proposals are accepted, Grangemouth would lose one councillor to become a three member ward and would lose Skinflats to Carse Kinnaird and Tryst, while the boundary between Falkirk North and Falkirk South would change substantially with Falkirk South also reduced from four to three councillors.

A public consultation will run from July to October this year, with the final proposals expected to go before Scottish Ministers for a decision in May 2016, so the new boundaries can be in place in time for the local authority elections in May 2017.