And with such a dramatic reduction in numbers there’s already speculation about how the ruling Conservatives will share out what’s left among themselves.

For example, the ward of Bidford and Salford is currently represented by three Tories—Cllrs Maurice Howse, Jonathan Spence and Daren Pemberton.

Under the new proposals the ward will be split into Bidford East and Bidford West and Salford—reducing the number of councillors from three to two.

Both Cllr Howse and Cllr Spence are members of the council’s ruling cabinet, but Cllr Pemberton is a former Liberal Democrat who defected to the Conservatives.

Which one of these three sitting councillors is most likely to be dropped when the race for seats begins?

The redrawing of the wards is not just a Tory problem, however.

In the rural areas the wards have become bigger and the market town wards have been expanded to take in more of the countryside.

The Lib Dems are traditionally stronger in the towns and weaker in the rural areas, which means that the new wards could present them with extra challenges.

In this new electoral landscape the town of Stratford will have nine wards and nine councillors, instead of the present four wards represented by 11 councillors.

In the wider district some wards that are now separate will be joined together and others will be split into two.

For instance, the wards of Brailes and Long Compton will become one ward, Brailes and Compton, and Wellesbourne will be divided into Wellesbourne West and Wellesbourne East.

Alcester will become Alcester Town and Alcester and Rural and Shipston will be Shipston North and Shipston South.

One interesting aspect of the proposals is that Tredington—the ward represented by the leader of the council, Cllr Chris Saint (Cons) – will disappear and be divided among other wards in the deep south of the district.

In Stratford the new wards will be: Avenue, Bishopton, Bridge-town, Clopton, Guildhall, Hathaway, Shottery, Tiddington and Welcombe.

Throughout the rest of the district they will be: Alcester Town, Alcester and Rural, Bidford East, Bidford West and Salford, Bishop’s Itchington, Brailes and Compton, Ettington, Henley, Kineton, Kinwarton, Long Itchington and Stockton, Napton and Fenny Compton, Quinton, Red Horse, Shipston North, Shipston South, Snitterfield, Southam North, Southam South, Studley with Mappleborough Green, Studley with Sambourne, Tanworth, Welford, Wellesbourne East, Wellesbourne West and Wootton Wawen.