Residents have less than three weeks to have their say on the future look of Preston City Council under a major review by the Boundary Commission.
An initial 10-week consultation period is due to end on June 5, with the authority itself voting to reduce the council chamber (pictured) by nine seats under the local government shake-up.
Preston currently has 57 members representing 22 wards. The council voted by a majority in December to reduce that to 48 - a figure backed by the Commission.
The opposition Conservative group suggested a reduction to between 46 and 49 seats. And there has since been a recommendation from Preston and Wyre Liberal-Democrats to trim it even further to just 42.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission of England launched its first consultation exercise on March 28 asking for views on a new patttern of wards for the city. When that closes on June 5, draft recommendations will be made by the LGBCE and these will then be put out to consultation between September 5 and November 13. The final recommendations will be published on January 30 next year.
The commission has written to the council saying it is “minded to recommend that 48 city councillors should be elected to Preston City Council in future.”
An electoral review is triggered when more than 30 per cent of a council’s wards have a variance in the number of electors of more than 10 per cent of the average. In Preston six of the 22 wards have a 10 per cent difference, while a seventh has a variance of 30 per cent. Any changes will be announced early next year, but will not come into being until the elections of 2019.