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Boundary Commission needs council input

Sam Hartley
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The Boundary Commission for England is looking at how best to draw the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies, and needs your help.

Last year we published our initial proposals for new constituencies and asked people to tell us what they thought about our plans – and they really did! Thanks in no small part to local authorities helping us to engage with citizens, we received more than 25,000 public comments on our first set of proposals; many were passionate and well-evidenced representations that have really helped us understand the strength of community feeling around the country.

The task we have been set by Parliament is two-fold: to reduce the number of constituencies; and to make more equal the number of electors in each constituency. Ours is a very consultative process; we have consulted the public twice already, and on 17 October published our revised proposals for the whole country. These are built heavily on the views of local citizens that we have garnered during the consultations, having travelled the country and seen many of the areas of contention on the ground. Based on the comments that we’ve received in the last year, we have decided to change over half our initial proposals to better reflect communities across the country.

For the local government community, the implications of our recommendations could be considerable. It is inevitable that many MPs will find their constituencies covering more local authorities; conversely, many councils will find they are dealing with multiple MPs covering their areas. Everyone in the sector will therefore be interested in, and have strong opinions on, our proposals. We’re also asking for help from councils and councillors to raise the profile of our review; we have published a variety of partner resources that councils can use to help us engage with the public.

Our proposals can be viewed at www.bce2018.org.uk, where you can see what we have changed and compare the proposals against existing constituencies and local government boundaries in your area. The deadline to comment is 11 December. This is the last chance for people to have their say on the new map of Parliamentary constituencies before we report to Parliament next year, so please help us get our message out to your local communities; it’s so important that as many people as possible have the opportunity to contribute to this fundamental democratic exercise.

Sam Hartley, secretary, Boundary Commission for England

Column sponsored and supplied by the Boundary Commission for England

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