10/29/2014 09:24 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST

Langley civic election focused on growth and planning

Like so many communities south of the Fraser, growth is one of the biggest issues in Langley.

The Township of Langley's population jumped from roughly 93,000 in 2006 to more than 104,000 in 2011.

That’s an increase of 11.2 per cent, which is nearly two points higher than Metro Vancouver’s growth of 9.3 per cent over the same period.

The City of Langley is growing, too, albeit not as fast. Its population climbed from about 23,000 to 25,000 over the same period.

Planning for more people will be one of the major challenges for the next mayor and council.

A community plan to triple the size of the Brookswood/Fernridge neighbourhood was rejected by council earlier this year following a heated public hearing.

Many residents said they felt ignored by their elected officials as the plan was being drawn up.

Transit and crime also top issues

Public transit is also a major concern. New communities such as Willoughby have little to no bus service, forcing residents to rely on their cars to get around.

Crime is also a big talking point, especially in the city.

Despite having a ratio of one police officer for every 500 residents, the City of Langley has the highest Crime Severity Index ranking in Metro Vancouver. Nearly half of the city’s budget is spent on policing.

Another issue that seems to pop up every election year is amalgamation.

Proponents argue it is wasteful for the city and township to each have its own mayor, council and fire department.

It’s unlikely the two municipalities will merge anytime soon, however.

The city receives a generous portion of its revenue from its casino, and it doesn’t seem to be willing to share with its neigbhour.