The political map in Kingston could change, as officials prepare to launch a review into the number of councillors.
But local council bosses want to keep things exactly as they are.
The boundary review will take place during the next 12 months, and Kingston Council is drawing up its initial response.
An email sent to local political parties, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, ahead of a meeting on 21 February reveals its draft suggestion – asking to maintain the existing 48 councillors.
The review, by The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), will seek to ensure that each councillor represents roughly the same number of people – and will look at changing the number of elected members in the process.
But the council thinks the current number of councillors is the “optimum” – and growing population will mean that this number certainly should not be reduced in the near future.
Any reduction would, the document argues, affect existing councillors’ workloads and personal lives, and exclude many people (e.g. people who work longer hours or young people) from seeking election.
The decision will affect the way communities are represented at the council, which looks after services like schools and social care, and makes decisions on things like planning.
At the moment there are 16 wards, each represented by three councillors who were voted in at the local elections in May 2018.
LGBCE is yet to reveal any of its recommendations.
Quentin Baker, assistant director of law and governance at Kingston Council, said the authority welcomes the review, saying it was “essential” that residents get involved with the consultation.