CITY leaders have thrown their weight behind plans to increase the number of councillors in Southampton.

Civic chiefs have backed proposals to increase the number of councillors from 48 to 51 and to create a new ward, making 17 in the city.

A review of the electoral boundaries is to be undertaken in the coming months.

Councillors were asked to put forward their preferred options and decide whether to increase the number of councillors by three or six.

But they unaniously backed the proposals for one new ward and three new councillors.

Cllr Satvir Kaur, leader of the opposition, descried the review as “a big deal”.

She said: “It will require all of us to work together and find a compromise where we can. ”

Talking about the plans to increase the number of councillors by three she added: “It is a fair and reasonable compromise to reach.”

Councillors also agreed to maintain the current electoral cycle of elections by thirds, when there are elections in three years out of every four.

The review will be carried out by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE).

The commission is now set to be informed of the councillors’ preferred plans.

A public consultation is then expected to take place between November 23 and January 31, 2022.

The final changes that will be agreed after public consultations are set to be implemented in May 2023 following an all-out election.

Earlier this year the commission said it would review wards in Southampton “to ensure that councillors represent about the same number of people across the city”.

An offical document published by the city council revealed that when comparing Southampton to similar local authorities, the city is the second smallest in terms of council size.

“For these reasons it is not recommended that the council size reduces below existing levels (48 councillors and 16 wards)”, the report stated.

Boundaries in Southampton were last reviewed 20 years ago.