Bexley councillors vote against plans to slash their numbers by a third

Left to right: Councillors Chris Beazley, Sean Newman and John Davey.

Left to right: Councillors Chris Beazley, Sean Newman and John Davey.

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Councillors have voted against a proposal to slash their numbers in Bexley by a third.

The borough would have ended up with 42 councillors instead of the current 63, but the Labour group’s plan was rejected at a meeting of Bexley Council on July 23.

Instead the ruling Conservative group proposed an amended motion calling for an independent review of the borough’s ward margins by the Boundary Commission before the next election in 2018.

This is the earliest any change could take effect.

Though Labour rejected the amendment, they later sided with the Tories in passing the new motion.

Belvedere Councillor Sean Newman put forward the idea which would have cut the number of councillors in each of Bexley’s 21 wards from three to two.

He told the meeting in the council chamber at the Civic Offices in Watling Street, Bexleyheath: "I think we all agree the number of councillors should be reduced, potentially saving up to £300,000 in the next four years.

"I hope this motion, which is intended to be uncontroversial, will be passed by all three parties and will allow us to deliver on our manifesto commitments."

News Shopper:

Bexley's current ward boundaries (image from Wikipedia). 

Crayford Councillor John Davey said: "Councillors should be cut but not by some arbitrary number proposed by Labour.

"Taxpayers might get it cheaper if Stalin or Marx ran the country, I prefer democracy.

"We must do what is best for our residents and ignore knee-jerk solutions."

Following the result, Blackfen and Lamborey Councillor Peter Craske said the council would "put forward a detailed submission" to the Boundary Commission "which will set out why and how the number of councillors could be reduced."

Coun Newman said his group voted for the motion because it was "similar enough" to theirs, but accused the council of "kicking the issue into the long grass."

UKIP’s final vote was split, with St Michael’s Councillor Chris Beazley voting for, Blackfen and Lamborey’s Lynn Smith abstaining and Colyers ward Councillor Colin McGannon voting against.

Coun Beazley claimed increases in Bexley’s population by 2018, when any changes would first be allowed to take effect, could lead to the Boundary Commission recommending more rather than fewer councillors for the borough.

He said: "My concern is with the growth coming into the UK from uncontrolled borders, it could end up being a worse situation rather than a better one."

All three parties pledged to reduce the number of councillors in their May election manifestos.

Comments (12)

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5:52pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Petras says...

Why any surprise? It's like a Turkey's voting for Christmas these councillors need to keep snouts well and truly in the trough.
Why any surprise? It's like a Turkey's voting for Christmas these councillors need to keep snouts well and truly in the trough. Petras
  • Score: 10

7:15pm Thu 24 Jul 14

ksc says...

Alright lads, who wants to vote "yes" for leaving the gravy train.....what no one? well how about a small pay cut........I'm sorry, but that language is totally unacceptable.
Alright lads, who wants to vote "yes" for leaving the gravy train.....what no one? well how about a small pay cut........I'm sorry, but that language is totally unacceptable. ksc
  • Score: 9

8:18pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Gypo.Joe says...

All the piggy's went oink oink oink at the shock.
All the piggy's went oink oink oink at the shock. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 2

8:21pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Bestbaz says...

Poacher and gamekeeper, Why give councillors the vote, anyone with an once of brain matter would never vote themselves out of job, an easy job at that. And to cap it all I have just found out that our councillor, who IMHO, is a waste of a council seat, is the new Mayor. You couldn't write it
Poacher and gamekeeper, Why give councillors the vote, anyone with an once of brain matter would never vote themselves out of job, an easy job at that. And to cap it all I have just found out that our councillor, who IMHO, is a waste of a council seat, is the new Mayor. You couldn't write it Bestbaz
  • Score: 4

8:29pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Lady Boy Erastusia says...

Members of the council say one thing and do another. The Tories said they wanted fewer at the last election and expect us to pay £300000 for next 4 years and the next election. Bonkers. And ukip vote 3 ways. They voted against one of their own for mayor.
Members of the council say one thing and do another. The Tories said they wanted fewer at the last election and expect us to pay £300000 for next 4 years and the next election. Bonkers. And ukip vote 3 ways. They voted against one of their own for mayor. Lady Boy Erastusia
  • Score: 1

7:11am Fri 25 Jul 14

B L Zeebub says...

Working for you - Listening to you....yeah right !
Working for you - Listening to you....yeah right ! B L Zeebub
  • Score: 4

11:01am Fri 25 Jul 14

highway warrior says...

what a joke! like they were ever going to vote themselves out of a job and their expenses! Get rid of Chief executive and save £300000 straight off. Why do we need a Council leader, Deputy leader, Chief Executive and deputy Chief executive. 4 jobs could be done by two people or even one!
what a joke! like they were ever going to vote themselves out of a job and their expenses! Get rid of Chief executive and save £300000 straight off. Why do we need a Council leader, Deputy leader, Chief Executive and deputy Chief executive. 4 jobs could be done by two people or even one! highway warrior
  • Score: 5

12:14pm Fri 25 Jul 14

bexleyman says...

"Taxpayers might get it cheaper if Stalin or Marx ran the country I prefer democracy."

What a pathetic comment from Councillor John Davey. Yet further evidence that our council is run by childish individuals who see running our borough as a well-paid game rather than as a serious business. I dare say he thought he was quite clever by making this statement...

If the Tories were serious about reducing the number of councillors, they would have accepted Labour's proposal. Kicking the idea into the long grass indeed...
"Taxpayers might get it cheaper if Stalin or Marx ran the country I prefer democracy." What a pathetic comment from Councillor John Davey. Yet further evidence that our council is run by childish individuals who see running our borough as a well-paid game rather than as a serious business. I dare say he thought he was quite clever by making this statement... If the Tories were serious about reducing the number of councillors, they would have accepted Labour's proposal. Kicking the idea into the long grass indeed... bexleyman
  • Score: 1

12:31pm Fri 25 Jul 14

goldenbroomboy says...

bexleyman wrote:
"Taxpayers might get it cheaper if Stalin or Marx ran the country I prefer democracy."

What a pathetic comment from Councillor John Davey. Yet further evidence that our council is run by childish individuals who see running our borough as a well-paid game rather than as a serious business. I dare say he thought he was quite clever by making this statement...

If the Tories were serious about reducing the number of councillors, they would have accepted Labour's proposal. Kicking the idea into the long grass indeed...
Anybody who compares the Bexley Labour Party to Uncle Joe is either a wind up merchant or a political ignoramus.

As for PUKIP's policies I will be polite & suggest that they are "improvising".
[quote][p][bold]bexleyman[/bold] wrote: "Taxpayers might get it cheaper if Stalin or Marx ran the country I prefer democracy." What a pathetic comment from Councillor John Davey. Yet further evidence that our council is run by childish individuals who see running our borough as a well-paid game rather than as a serious business. I dare say he thought he was quite clever by making this statement... If the Tories were serious about reducing the number of councillors, they would have accepted Labour's proposal. Kicking the idea into the long grass indeed...[/p][/quote]Anybody who compares the Bexley Labour Party to Uncle Joe is either a wind up merchant or a political ignoramus. As for PUKIP's policies I will be polite & suggest that they are "improvising". goldenbroomboy
  • Score: -5

4:53pm Fri 25 Jul 14

HearTheFacts says...

John Davey has always been the idiot, now he is in Crayford thank you John. The CONServative's, in Bexley are control freaks. Run by a leader that they are all scared of. John Davey why not put it to the people of the Bexley Borough?.
John Davey has always been the idiot, now he is in Crayford thank you John. The CONServative's, in Bexley are control freaks. Run by a leader that they are all scared of. John Davey why not put it to the people of the Bexley Borough?. HearTheFacts
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Sun 27 Jul 14

paulbexleyheath says...

think it would better the reduce the number of no good councillors by a lot more than a third . they do S F A for any one . you only ever hear of them around election time .
as a previous person commented .... ask the people of bexley .
think it would better the reduce the number of no good councillors by a lot more than a third . they do S F A for any one . you only ever hear of them around election time . as a previous person commented .... ask the people of bexley . paulbexleyheath
  • Score: 1

2:41pm Mon 28 Jul 14

Crayman says...

Get rid of the Mayor consorts too....How can they take money from the public purse just because they are the partner or the mayor or deputy mayor. Disgusting, Pigs in the trough.
Get rid of the Mayor consorts too....How can they take money from the public purse just because they are the partner or the mayor or deputy mayor. Disgusting, Pigs in the trough. Crayman
  • Score: 3

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