Senate Opposes Smaller Municipal Councils
THE HAGUE, 04/07/13 - Labour (PvdA) Senator Heijnen has failed to win a majority in the Upper House for his private members bill proposing to cut the number of municipal council members by around 10 percent.
Only the conservatives (VVD) and 50PLUS expressed support for a reduction. Remarkably enough, Heijnen is not even assured of support from his own PvdA. The vote will be next week.
The cuts would yield a total of nearly 50 million euros in savings. If the PvdA does support the proposal after all, there will still not be a majority, as VVD, PvdA and 50PLUS have a combined 31 of the 75 seats.
Heijnen proposes in the bill that municipalities of up to 40,000 residents after the local elections of March next year should give up two seats and councils with 40,000 or more, should give up four. This would work out at a reduction of around 1,000 council members.
The Lower House adopted Heijnen’s bill in February with the support of the VVD, PvdA and 50PLUS. The Senate decided to debate the bill quickly, because Heijnen is leaving the Lower House on 1 September.