New ward boundaries for Hartlepool have been published by electoral officials.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements for Hartlepool Borough Council.
Instead of 11 wards and 33 councillors, the town is set to have 12 wards and 36 elected members on the borough council.
The new map has been drawn up following two rounds of public consultation.
It will now be up to Parliament to confirm the new boundaries which would then come into effect in next year’s local elections.
Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to people across Hartlepool who took part in the review.
“The commission has looked at all the evidence that was put forward during the consultation.
“We believe these recommendations deliver electoral fairness for voters as well as reflecting community ties throughout Hartlepool.”
The commission says all but one of the town’s current council wards will change as a result of the review.
They include the creation of a new Throston ward, while Fens is set to be removed from the ward it shared with Rossmere to form a new Fens and Greatham ward.
In an online poll by the Mail at the end of last May, more than 540 people (93%) felt the town did not need any more councillors.
The commission’s draft report published in October also said: “Respondents opposed the increase in councillors for the borough, while some additionally argued for a reduction.
“However, these submissions lacked detailed evidence as to why we should move away from a 36-councillor scheme and how the authority would operate under an alternative council size.”
More than 100 residents, associations and political groups gave their views on how the ward map should be drawn.
They included submissions the council, Hartlepool Labour Party, Hartlepool Independent Group and Putting Hartlepool First.
A draft order to make the new boundaries law will be put before Parliament in the coming months.
It will then have 40 days to raise any objections.
The commission’s final reccomendations report is published today on its website at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/12866