The number of Cornwall Councillors is to be slashed by more than a third after the Local Government Boundary Commission published the results of its electoral review.

The commission has recommended that the council be reduced to 87 members from 123, to come into effect at the local elections in 2021, and will be drawing up a new pattern of electoral divisions to match.

The commission has said it aims to deliver electoral equality for voters so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters, while also ensuring that the divisions reflect the composition of differing communities, and will now put the matter to public consultation.

Professor Colin Mellors, chair of the commission, said: “The first part this review is for the commission to come to a view on the total number of councillors that should be elected to the council in the future. Our judgment is that 87 councillors is the right number to provide effective local government for Cornwall.

“We looked at how the council is changing, the challenges it faces and its ambitions for the future. We see a clear model for Cornwall to be a council with fewer councillors focussing on key strategic issues with parish and town councils taking more responsibility for local issues.

“We also think that 87 councillors make for a good basis to draw up new division boundaries that respect community ties and make sense to local people.”

“We are now asking local people and organisations to help us draw up new divisions for Cornwall. As we develop the recommendations, we will take into account local community identities as well as ensuring electoral equality for voters.

Mebyon Kernow, the Party for Cornwall, has criticised the decision, which they see as disproportionately damaging Cornish local democracy.

Party Leader Dick Cole, who described himself as “extremely disturbed” by the news, said: “Prior to 2009, Cornwall had 331 councillors on the County Council and the six district councils. The centralisation of local government was then imposed on Cornwall and the number of councillors slashed to 123. And now the LGBCE has imposed another large cut in elected members, which will further increase the democratic deficit from which Cornwall already suffers.

“This is so wrong and I cannot understand why the LGBCE is so determined to launch an assault on democracy in Cornwall.”

Mr Cole added: "Durham County Council was founded with 126 councillors and a subsequent review allowed the council to continue with the same number of members. So how is it appropriate that Cornwall will have to suffer a 30 per cent reduction in the number of its elected members?

“Wales has more than 1,200 councillors on its 22 unitary authorities, while Devon has just under 500 principal authority councillors and Somerset has over 400."

Councillor Malcolm Brown, the chairman of Cornwall Council’s electoral review panel, said: “Many people in Cornwall, and a minority of Cornwall Councillors, have always wanted the number of councillors to be reduced significantly from the present size of 123.

“However, the majority of Cornwall Councillors, both before and after this year's elections, strongly favoured a council size of 99 or more. The vast majority of parish and town councils also want Cornwall Council to have 99 councillors or more. It’s disappointing the Boundary Commission has ignored their views.”

Residents have until February 19, 2018, to submit their views at and will have a further chance to comment after the commission publishes its draft recommendations later in 2018.