Penryn's Cornwall Councillors have told the town council plans to reduce the number of unitary authority representatives will makeit difficult to meet residents' needs.

Mary May, who represents Penryn West, said at a meeting of the town council on Monday that asking her about plans to reduce the number of Cornwall Councillors from 123 to less than 100 was "like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas," and set out three options that were on the table.

She said "the Tories want" the number reduced to 82, "the government" wants to "impose" an 87 member council, and the Cornwll Council review panel are asking for 99 members.

She told the meeting that while the numbers made sense from the perspective that 30 per cent of councillors "don't contribute" to the "bigger picture" running of the council, the larger numbers were necessary for them to properly represent the residents of their own divisions. She also said at the current numbers each councillor represented approximately 3,200 residents, which would increase to 5,200 if there were only 87 councillors.

And she added that councillors in rural areas would be most affected, with new electoral divisions possibly covering "six, seven or eight" parishes.

She said: "I'm looking at 99 but that's my view only."

John Symons, councillor for Penryn East and Mylor, said despite being a Conservative whose party wanted an 82 seat council, he "quite agreed" with Mrs May.

He added: "I think 123 is about right. It puts so much work on our councillors and we're not looking after our parishioners like we should be."

A decision on the town council's response was deferred to a later meeting.