PLANS to cut the number of councillors in Torfaen from 44 to 40 have been submitted to the Welsh Government.

The number of electoral wards within the county borough would also drop from 24 to 18 under the recommendations set out by the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales.

It is hoped to review of electoral arrangements will lead to a “substantial improvement in the level of electoral parity”, according to the commission.

Under the proposals, the Pontypool ward would combine with Cwmyniscoy, Brynwern and Wainfelin to create the Pontypool Fawr ward, which would be represented by two councillors.

Croesyceiliog North and Croesyceiliog South would be unified into a single two-member ward – a reduction of one councillor – while Pontnewynydd and Snatchwood would merge into a single two-member ward.

Trevethin, St Cadocs and Penygarn wards would merge into Trevethin and Penygarn and be represented by two councillors instead of three.

One councillor will be cut from Upper Cwmbran and Greenmeadow, while the number of councillors representing Llantarnam would rise from two to three

The wards of Blaenavon, Coed Eva, Fairwater, New Inn, Panteg, Pontnewydd, St. Dials and Two Locks would remain untouched.

When the proposals were released in July, the leaders of Torfaen council’s political groups asked for the “status quo to be maintained” amidst wider plans to reform local government in Wales.

Torfaen council were also against the retention of single member wards due to a lack of cover for absence in leave or sickness.

“Single member wards also pose a safety risk to members as any ward surgeries and contact with the public would be conducted alone,” their response added.

While single member wards remain in the final recommendations, council leader Anthony Hunt said: “The council has contributed to this review and some elements of our feedback have been incorporated into the final recommendations.”

Members of the public are invited to share their views with Welsh Government ministers until December 21.