VOTERS in Swansea will elect more councillors than currently at the next election, according to new proposals.
The plan is to have 74 instead of 72 elected members, but they would represent 32 wards instead of 36.
The proposals include amalgamating Dunvant with Killay South to create one area represented by two councillors.
The two wards currently have three councillors and one of them, Cllr Jeff Jones, described the idea as “crazy”. He said: “Killay is a village in its own right.”
There would be changes in Mumbles too, with the current Oystermouth and Newton wards merging to become Mumbles South. There would be three councillors here rather than the current two.
Pontlliw and Tircoed would be a new addition to the electoral map while Clydach and Mawr, and Gorseinon and Penyrheol, would become two wards instead of four.
The draft proposals have been published by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales, and councils and interested parties have a chance to respond.
The remit was to try to ensure a more equal voter-councillor ratio.
As things stand, Mawr, a large rural ward in the north of Swansea, has 1,390 electors compared to Gowerton, which has 3,969.
The Boundary Commission said it had tried to maintain community ties and had taken into account factors such as geography and road links.
But Cllr Jones, of Killay South, said: “I was taken aback by what they actually came up with. “I’m not trying to take anything away from Dunvant but it’s a totally separate entity. We are just going to have to fight these proposals.”
Dunvant councillor Louise Gibbard said she needed more time to assess the proposals, but admitted to having initial concerns as Dunvant and Killay were “very different and deserve to be represented separately”. The proposed merger would, she felt, leave residents in both wards “under-represented”.
Further west, Pennard is set to claim Parkmill and Ilston villages from the Gower ward.
Pennard councillor Lynda James said she could see the logic. “In many respects there is quite a tight link between those villages and Pennard,” she said. “They (Parkmill and Ilston residents) come up to Pennard and use our community hall and community cafe.”
New arrangements to create a more equal voter-councillor ratio will come into force by the next local Government election in 2022.
But the final electoral map may be different to the current proposals, which do not affect several wards.
Swansea Council has previously submitted suggestions, but the Boundary Commission said they didn’t improve the voter-councillor ratio.
The authority will now consider the latest proposals and respond before the consultation ends in October.
Oystermouth councillor Myles Langstone said he was pleased the Boundary Commission had recognised that his ward was one of the largest single-member wards in Swansea. “I believe this proposal makes sense and I’m happy to support it,” he said. “I would probably opt for a different name to Mumbles South, however.”