Iain opposes plan to axe two of county’s councillors

Iain Gray MSP and Fiona O’Donnell MP have rejected proposals to reduce the number of councillors serving on East Lothian Council from 23 to 21.

The Labour politicians have submitted a response to the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland’s Electoral Review for East Lothian outlining their opposition to the planned reduction and supporting the position taken by East Lothian Council on the issue.

They have urged the Commission to rethink the proposal and keep the number of councillors at their current level.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“I stated my opposition to these proposals as soon as they became public. I really cannot see any rationale for reducing the number of councillors in East Lothian. The county’s population is growing rapidly and the local community structures, such as community councils and area partnerships, are working well.

“Given that a reduction in the number of councillors is likely to mean a significant redrawing of ward boundaries, the whole exercise will be damaging and disruptive to local communities and the council’s work. I have urged the Commission to rethink its plans and maintain councillor numbers at their current level.”

Fiona O’Donnell MP said:

“East Lothian has one of the fastest growing populations in Scotland, so cutting the number of councillors just doesn’t make sense. East Lothian Council works well for local communities. That success is partly down to hard working councillors who do their utmost to serve local communities. Reducing their number will make their job harder and that could have a negative impact on services.

“The Commission says its proposals are based on deprivation, but it has not produced proper evidence to back this up or justify reducing the number of councillors here. With cross-party support for keeping our councillors at the current level, I hope the Commission will listen and reconsider its plans.”