The Isle of Wight could soon have 39 councillors – one less than the current number – if final plans are approved.

Following three rounds of public consultation, the Local Government Boundary Commission has published its final recommendations for new electoral arrangements on the Island.

Changes include 39 councillors representing 39 one-councillor divisions.

In the west, the Commission is recommending making Colwell part of the Totland division rather than Freshwater, as previously proposed.

It has also suggested changing original recommendations to make the shopping area around Avenue Road part of a Freshwater division rather than Totland.

Professor Colin Mellors, Chair of the Commission, said:

“We are extremely grateful to people across Isle of Wight 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 Isle of Wight.”

In Ryde, the Commission has put forward plans to have Ryde North East and Ryde South East divisions run along West Hill Road and Park Road.

Originally it was also proposed that a Ventnor and Wroxall division could cover both communities and be represented by two councillors. However, after objections, a new plan for two divisions each to be represented by one councillor has been recommended.

The names of several divisions have also been adjusted in response to feedback. Changes include the former Whippingham and Osborne Ward being moved and renamed ‘Fairlee’.

The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament.

A draft order – recommending changes come into force at the council elections in 2021 – will be laid in Parliament in the coming months.