A CALL to change how councillors are elected in the city was rejected.

A motion put forward by Green Party councillor Marjory Bisset called on council bosses to write to the government requesting a change in law to push for a move from first-past-the-post (FPTP) to a proportional representation (PR) system.

She said the current first part the post system, which is used in general elections and Worcester City Council elections, was not fair and meant many votes were wasted which led to voter apathy and a “feeling of disconnection from local democracy.”

Cllr Bisset said moving to a PR system - where the number of councillors reflected the number of votes - would mean the city council had fewer and larger wards and less elections.

The call was backed by the council's Green and Lib Dem councillors, but support was mixed amongst Labour councillors.

All of the council's Conservatives voted against the motion.

The motion said: “Full council believes that a move to the use of proportional representation for local elections would boost turn-out, make the council more representative of the political make-up of its residents, and improve the quality of its decision-making, thereby benefitting all Worcester residents.”

Cllr Louise Griffiths, who switched from the Green Party to the Conservatives earlier this year, said she had never been in favour of changing the electoral system.

She said the electoral and voting system was broken but "PR was not the way to go about it."

She said PR voting systems inherently led to unstable governments and the same would happen if it was used at a council level.

Cllr Matt Lamb was one of five Labour councillors to support the move.

He said the FPTP system meant some votes were worth more than others and there was a danger that councillors in 'safe' seats could become complacent because other parties did not campaign there. He said voter apathy and disinterest in elections would cause a "crisis of participation" in the city.