Hartlepool'S new mayor is making a final plea to local people to back a call to reduce the number of councillors.

Stuart Drummond wants to save council cash by reducing the number of councillors in Hartlepool from 47 to 32.

People have until July 8 to air their view to the Boundary Committee of England, who have the final decision on boundary changes.

Mr Drummond said: "Under the new council system I think we can justify significantly reducing the number of councillors.

"Most council decisions are no longer made by large committees of members and I think two councillors per ward rather than three is perfectly adequate.

"This would save the council at least £70,000 a year. I think this can work, but we need people to write to the Boundary Committee to tell them their views."

The council's cabinet has sent its own submission to the committee calling for the number of councillors to be cut by a third.

Anyone wanting to support the council's idea should write to The Team Leader (Hartlepool) Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW.