THE number of city councillors in Winchester must shrink, the Council heard.

The Local Government Boundary Commission is reviewing the size of authorities.

Winchester currently has 57 members, a figure the Labour group wanted to keep. Their amendment was rejected at full Council last night.

The Liberal Democrats wanted to retain 48 but that was voted down as well on the casting vote of the new mayor Eileen Berry, the first casting vote by a mayor in recent times.

The Tories want to the council to be cut to 45 councillors.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, portfolio holder, said no change was not an option. "We can't retain the old numbers when all around us is reducing."

Opposition councillors argued that fewer councillors meant poorer representation for people especially in villages.