FOUR York council wards are to be merged into two, others will gain or lose councillors and a new name will appear on the city's electoral map in a shake-up of political boundaries.

Final recommendations by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE), published today, will include the University of York within City of York Council’s Hull Road ward, which will have three councillors rather than two.

The Fulford and Heslington wards, which currently each have one councillor, will be combined and have a single representative. The university was originally intended to be within this merged ward under the LGBCE's draft recommendations, but this has been changed following a 12-week public consultation.

The city will still have 47 councillors, but across 21 wards instead of the current 22, with a new single-councillor Copmanthorpe ward being created, while the Osbaldwick and Derwent wards will merge and the new ward will have two councillors.

Elsewhere, Guildhall will have three councillors rather than two, with the reverse applying to the neighbouring Clifton ward. Rural West York's councillors will fall from three to two, and it will also include Skelton. The renamed Rawcliffe and Clifton Without ward will have three councillors.

The LGBCE said it had changed its original recommendations for the south-east of the city because the University of York "shares stronger community interests" with Hull Road, one of the city's main student areas.

Some respondents to the consultation had suggested there should be a stand-alone University ward because of the campus' transient population.

The proposed new arrangements must now be implemented by Parliament, with a draft order – the legal document which brings the recommendations into force – being laid down in Westminster in the next few months. It will allow the new electoral set-up to be in place for the first time at the 2015 local elections.

Max Caller, chair of the Commission, said, “We are extremely grateful to the people of York who took the time and effort to send us their views.

"The Commission considered every piece of evidence it received before finalising these recommendations. Across the city, we have sought to balance the views expressed to us by local people with the criteria we must apply when we are deciding on new electoral arrangements.

"As such, we believe these recommendations deliver electoral equality for voters, as well as reflecting the identities of communities across York.”

Council leader James Alexander said: "It is not an easy task and some strong views were expressed, so I thank the Commission for their time and considerable effort engaging with all political parties and the public.

"Labour will soon be selecting our candidates for the next council."

Fulford councillor Keith Aspden, leader of the Liberal Democrat group and one of the members whose current ward will be affected, said: “I am pleased the Commission has taken on board the overwhelming local response to the public consultation and altered its recommendation for the south-east of York.

"Fulford and Heslington villages share a number of community links and common issues. Combining them in a single-member ward will ensure the villages are represented by a strong voice on the council. Across the city, we are looking forward to working with the new ward arrangements to put forward a strong selection of candidates for 2015.”