The Boundary Commission today (8th June) has published its initial proposed changes to Parliamentary Boundaries in England. The Boundary Commission for England say: “We are consulting on our initial proposals for an eight-week period, from 8 June 2021 to 2 August 2021. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals. Our consultation portal at https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/ has more information about our proposals and how to give us your views on them.”
Michael Fabricant says: “In this proposal, the Commission have announced that Whittington and Streethay should move into the Tamworth Parliamentary Constituency while Wall and part of the area immediately south of the M6 Toll including the villages of Summerhill and Chesterfield should be moved from Tamworth into Lichfield. This will make very little difference to the size of the Lichfield constituency, but suggesting the move of the Streethay part of Lichfield into Tamworth displays no knowledge of the area and is a rehash of their proposals made a few years back which were never enacted by Parliament.
“I shall oppose this. It divides Lichfield Trent Valley station in two and cuts off the eastern edge of Lichfield itself. I shall also miss representing the people of Whittington and the wonderful St Giles Hospice. Frankly, it’s a nonsense. It bears all the hallmarks of boundaries drawn in the 19th and 20th centuries by Whitehall mapmakers in days of Empire without any knowledge or care of the regions and people concerned. In fact, the Lichfield constituency could remain unchanged as it has the correct population. If it is necessary to ‘top up’ Tamworth, other wards could be moved.
“I strongly urge local residents to make their views known by 2nd August to the Boundary Commission via their website https://www.bcereviews.org.uk/ or write to them at Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3BQ.”
Michael explains: “The Boundary Commissioners are obliged to review periodically the Parliamentary Boundaries to take into account shifts in population. Under relatively new legislation, all 650 Parliamentary constituencies – apart from island constituencies – must now be of equal size give or take 5% of the national average. At present, some areas of the UK – including London and Wales – are over represented in Parliament as is Stoke on Trent with very small populations in each constituency. That is obviously undemocratic and that is why the review is being undertaken.
“Most importantly, whatever is finally decided on boundaries, residents should know that these changes will not take place until after the next General Election. Until then, everything remains the same.”
Map of the proposed boundary of the new Lichfield Constituency