People are being urged to have their say on a proposal to change Hartlepool Borough Council ward boundaries and increase the number of councillors.
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is carrying out an electoral review of the town.
The commission says the aim is to create ward boundaries with councillors representing approximately the same number of voters.
The ten-week public consultation on the recommendations begins today and will end on December 10.
The consultation is open to anyone who wants to have their say on new council wards, ward boundaries and ward names across Hartlepool.
The Boundary Commission’s draft recommendations propose that Hartlepool should have 36 councillors in future: this is three more than now.
The recommendations also outline how those councillors should represent 12 three-councillor wards across the borough.
The full recommendations and detailed interactive maps are available on the Commission’s website at consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk. Hard copies of the Commission’s report and maps will also be available to view at council buildings.
Professor Colin Mellors, chairman of the Commission, said: “We are publishing proposals for a new pattern of wards across Hartlepool and we are keen to hear what local people think of the recommendations.
“Over the next ten weeks, we are asking local people to tell us if they agree with the proposals or if not, how they can be improved.
“Our review aims to deliver electoral equality for local voters. This means that each councillor represents a similar number of people, so that everyone’s vote in council elections is worth roughly the same, regardless of where you live.
“We also want to ensure that our proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities across Hartlepool and that the pattern of wards can help the council deliver effective local government for local people.
“We will consider all the submissions we receive, whoever they are from and whether your evidence applies to the whole borough or just a part of it."
The Commission says it wants to hear as much evidence as possible to develop final recommendations for Hartlepool. If you would like to make a submission to the Commission, write or email by December 10.
Write to The Review Officer (Hartlepool), Local Government Boundary Commission for England, 1st Floor, Windsor House, 50 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL.
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final recommendations are set to be published in February.
In an online poll by the Mail at the end of May, more than 540 people (93%) said the town did not need any more councillors.