Poll: Does Hartlepool need three extra councillors?
Voters in Hartlepool are being given the chance to shape the political landscape of their town for years to come.
The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking the town's residents for their help in drawing up a new pattern of council wards for Hartlepool Borough Council - which could include the introduction of three new councillors.
The consultation is just the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the borough.
An announcement by the Commission also revealed that the borough council should have 36 councillors in the future - three more than the current number.
Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said: “We are asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new wards for Hartlepool.
"As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral fairness for voters.
“If you have a view about which communities or neighbourhoods should be part of the same council ward, then we want to hear from you.
"And if you think a road, river or railway makes for a strong boundary between communities in your part of Hartlepool, then this consultation is for you.
“If you’re interested in the way the borough is run, just log on to our website to explore our interactive maps and have your say. Your views will make a difference."
The Commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections - and it is intended that each councillor will represent the same number of voters.
Draft recommendations will be published in October - and members of the public will then have a further chance to share their views.
*You have until August 6, 2018, to submit your views. For more information, visit the Commission's website here.