What is a council ward?

All local authorities, regardless of size, are divided up into small sections called wards which are represented by at least one elected councillor.

How many does Birmingham have?

At present, Birmingham City Council is divided up into 40 separate wards, each with three elected councillors, making a total of 120.

What's happening to them?

In December 2014, government inspector Lord Bob Kerslake produced a wide-ranging report into Birmingham City Council and its governance of the city.

It raised many key issues and recommendations, one of which was to reduce the number of councillors and increase the volume of wards.

How many will it have?

The city council would be divided up into 69 wards - 37 of which would have only one councillor and the remaining 32 larger wards would have two councillors, making a total of 101 elected representatives.

Detailed ward maps are available here.

Is this a good thing?

Possibly. Each ward under the proposed new format would be geographically smaller and have fewer people living in it. Kerslake said this would encourage closer links between councillors and their communities.

How will it affect residents of the city?

On many levels, it won't make the slightest bit of difference. For example, residents of the Jewellery Quarter who currently live in the Ladywood ward would find themselves in the Soho and Jewellery Quarter ward instead. They will still tell people they live in the Jewellery Quarter.

The Boundary Commission upset many communities with its first plans - often splitting defined communities or misnaming areas.

A second round resolved many issues - but the residents of Balsall Heath remained unhappy after being divided.

Will Birmingham itself be changing?

No. The city boundaries which border places such as Worcestershire and Staffordshire will not be altered or moved. The current ten parliamentary constituencies will also remain unaffected by this although MPs themselves might have to learn some new ward names which come under their respective patches.

When will all of this be finalised?

The new boundaries are now in place and become active for the election on May 3, 2018.

What will happen to the local elections?

From May 2018, local elections in Birmingham will take place every four years as they already do in many other UK local authorities.

Elections used to be held on a rota for three years in every four.