A proposition to reduce the number of councillors in Richmond has been put forward by the Conservative Group.

Richmond Conservatives want to reduce the number of councillors in the borough from 54 to 45.

However, the Leader of the council is disappointed that Cllr Paul Hodgins, leader of the opposition, places "little value on the role that councillors play in their communities".

"I know this is a view which is shared by members of his own council group. Richmond Council is already very modest in size and ward councillors provide an excellent service for residents often being available to help with problems 7 days a week and late into the night," he said.

"Reducing their numbers would simply increase the workload, lead to a poorer service for residents and ultimately lead to a less diverse council as working people and people with families may find themselves unable to commit to the time required to do the job of a ward councillor properly.

"I’m afraid this is a desperate politics, the last roll of the dice from a man who led his party to the worst local council elections result for a quarter of a century.

"The Conservatives have betrayed local residents over Brexit, Heathrow Expansion, Schools Funding, SEND Funding and more besides and he knows that given the scale of that betrayal the only way he can see a way back to power locally is by slashing the number of seats he needs to get a majority.”

Cllr Hodgins pointed out that everyone has had to face hard choices in recent years and adapt to new ways of working, he said: "The Council is no exception and we have a much slimmer workforce and shared staff and service arrangements with other local local authorities.

"This year as well as the maximum 4.99 per cent increase in Council tax residents face a massive 8.93% precept from the London Mayor, making an overall increase of 5.67 per cent.

"I was astonished by the outright refusal at Tuesday's Budget Council by the LibDem Leader to consider the savings that could benefit our residents from a reduction in councillor numbers.

"The Conservative Group will be submitting a proposal to the Local Government Boundary Commission demonstrating that 45 dedicated Councillors will be able to offer our residents a high level of service and provide more than adequate representation to ensure efficient running of the Council."