Ward boundaries in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames will be reviewed by a national commission this year.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England, an indepedent state department, will review the ward boundaries in the borough ahead of public consultation on the matter scheduled for April 23.

As well as ward boundary lines, the commission will also recommend figures for the total number of councillors that would best represent borough residents.

Quentin Baker, Assistant Director Law and Governance, said that the council welcomed the announcement.

Mr Baker said: "We very much welcome this review to ensure electoral equality across our borough, meaning each councillor represents a similar number of people."

He added that the upcoming consultation process would be essential to guaranteeing a positive outcome for residents who might be affected by any changes and urged borough residents to take part.

Mr Baker said: "Effective communication and engagement with the community will also be essential. The Boundary Commission will be gathering evidence from residents to ensure the proposals reflect the interests and identities of local communities. These will then be shared with residents and I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to have their say."

The Boundary Commission for England conducted a sweeping review of constituency boundaries — those related to Members of Parliament throughout England — last year and published their findings and recommendations in September.

Similar ward boundary reviews at the council level are taking place across the country.

A final round of public consultation on the draft recommendations will then take place from 1 October - 9 December 2019. The review process will take around a year with final recommendations to be published on 11 February 2020.

The last review in Kingston took place in 1999 and saw the council move from 20 wards to 16. Councillors also reduced from 50 to 48.

More information about the review, including timelines and process, can be found on the council’s website www.kingston.gov.uk/elections