Labour councillors have pointed to figures which show a serious discrepancy between the number of residents each councillor represents in the East End compared with their counterparts in the much more affluent borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
A simple comparison of the number of electors per councillor after the Boundary Commission’s review of both areas shows that by 2018, the date which the Commission base their figures on, Tower Hamlets will have one councillor per 4,417 residents yet by the same year in Kensington and Chelsea this would be half the number, at 2,270 residents per councillor.
The new figures are being used as further evidence against the Boundary Commission’s decision to follow the independent Mayor’s recommendation to cut the number of councillors in the borough to 45 even though Tower Hamlets has by far the highest rate of population growth in the country. The decision has left some wondering why the Boundary Commission feels that residents in the poorer East London should have fewer elected representatives than their richer counterparts.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“Councillors provide an important service to many constituents, especially those facing difficult circumstances, cutting the number of councillors will cut that support. We do not see why the Boundary Commission would think that significantly richer areas such as Kensington and Chelsea deserve more elected councillors than poorer ones.”