Knowsley Council has recently released its proposals for the Future Governance arrangements of Prescot Town Council for the next 10 to 15 years, with effect from May 2019. A working group of Knowsley Councillors has made recommendations that will change the number of wards and number of Councillors elected to those wards. Prescot Town Council submitted a proposal in November that it believes better represents the Town, particularly in light of the new Prescot Park Housing Development which will see an additional 700 -750 new homes. None of the Town Council’s proposals were held up by the working group who have recommended a reduction in the number of Councillors from 17 to 12 (based on a model of operation used in Halewood and in line with it’s own elected member reduction of 2016) and a split of the Town into two wards being north and south mirroring its warding arrangements for the Town.
The Town Council believe these recommendations to be floored;
Firstly – the reduction in the number of elected members serves no obvious purpose. The elected members of Prescot Town Council do not receive any monies what so ever for being a Councillor as the role is purely voluntary. There was a logic when Knowsley reduced its membership as it realised an annual saving of roughly £9,000 per elected member equating to around £162,000 a year in total, but there is simply no corresponding saving to be made at Town Council level so the logic of this recommendation remains veiled.
Secondly – Our town is growing, the addition of another 700-750 homes will likely see another 3,000 residents coming to Prescot in the near future however Knowsley’s agreed figures with the Boundary Commission of 2014 state that only 505 new electors will enter in the entirety of KMBC’s Prescot North ward, which also includes Knowsley Village. These figures simply do not add up unless the new housing development will be populated by single people and with just under a third of properties left vacant. All of those new homes will be located in the new Prescot North Ward, this will see a considerable variation in the number of electors to Councillors between the north and south wards, the Town Council believe being this to be around 775 to 1 in the north and 486 to 1 in the south.
Following its meeting in February the Town Council approved this response to the working group Prescot Town Council – Submission March 2018 along with supporting documentation Prescot TC 3 Ward Split Prescot Warding Arrangements – Current and Proposed
If you would like to support the Town Council’s view point and preserve the quality of democracy in Prescot as is then you can help by completing this proforma letter and sending to firstname.lastname@example.org . You don’t have to use this letter and well may use it as a basis for your own complaint, but if you do use it it is very important that each letter is treated separately and in its own right. In order to facilitate this you must include your name and address at the top, thereby making each letter individual.
All of the boards recommendations can be viewed on KMBC’s website via this link