Final Chance to ‘Have Your Say’ on Cornwall/ Devon Parliamentary Consitutuency
Final Chance to ‘Have Your Say’ on Cornwall/ Devon Parliamentary Constituency as the Boundary Commission fail to listen to Cornwall Council!
Below is the press statement issued by Cornwall Council today.
Boundary Commission for England starts second public consultation The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) will once again be asking the public to help shape plans to change Parliamentary constituency boundaries as it opens its second consultation today (28 February).
Following a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is equal, BCE has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of English constituencies should be.
An initial 12-week consultation was held in the autumn last year, giving the public the first chance to view and comment on BCE’s plans. Almost 20,000 responses were submitted.
Strong community evidence was received from across the South West region, both supporting and countering BCE’s initial proposals. Representations covered a wide variety of topics. Two areas the Commission regularly heard about were the proposed constituency of Bideford, Bude and Launceston, where cases were put forward that a cross-county constituency covering Devon and Cornwall did not reflect the local community feeling; and Bournemouth, where the public raised concerns over the splitting of the town across three constituencies.
All of these comments will now be published as part of the second consultation and, from today (28 February), you will be able to go to BCE’s website, www.bce2018.org.uk, to view the public comments we received during the first consultation. You had the chance to tell BCE what you thought about the proposals in the first consultation; this is now your opportunity to tell BCE what you think about other suggestions made during that consultation. You can support counter-proposals, highlight issues with alternative ideas and say where you think BCE’s original proposals are still the best solution. You have until 27 March to have your say.
Sam Hartley, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Public input is invaluable throughout the 2018 Boundary Review. Comments made during both consultations will help us develop a well-rounded picture of how local communities live and work together across the country. This local knowledge will be essential when we revise our proposals. Any changes will be based on your comments so it’s important to have your say.”
Following the second consultation, the BCE’s assistant commissioners will look through all comments received during both consultations, considering all the evidence submitted. They will then advise the Commission on where they think the proposals should be revised.
Revised proposals will be published as part of a final consultation in late 2017/early 2018 and any further changes made based on comments received. BCE must report to Parliament with its final recommendation in September 2018. If agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.
Notes to editors
1. The Boundary Commission for England is an independent and impartial advisory body, constituted under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986. It is responsible for conducting reviews of UK Parliament constituencies in England and making recommendations to Parliament. The reviews for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of separate Commissions in those parts of the United Kingdom.
2. The statutory framework for how a review of constituencies must be conducted was significantly altered by Part 2 of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011. That Act introduced a mandatory reduction in constituencies (from 650 to 600 for the UK as a whole) and a statutory electorate range that every constituency (except four island exceptions) must adhere to.
3. The Act also requires the Commission to base this review on electorate data from December 2015. The Commission has no power to instead use figures from revisions to the electoral registers since that date. At December 2015, England’s total electorate was 37,399,942. It was therefore entitled to 501 constituencies for this review, a reduction of 32 from the current total.
4. The rules in the Act state that every constituency must be within 5% of the electoral quota (the average number of electors, which, for this review, is 74,769), meaning constituencies must have no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507 electors. Two constituencies allocated to the Isle of Wight are exempt from this requirement.
5. The secondary consultation runs until 27 March 2017. There will be a further round of consultation in late 2017/early 2018, and the Commission must make its final report and recommendations to Parliament in September 2018.
6. The Commission will not be releasing any embargoed consultation responses before the start of the secondary consultation at 00.01 on 28 February 2017.
7. For media enquires contact our press office on 07834 174632 or email email@example.com
8. For general enquiries contact 020 7276 1102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The initial proposals are presented on our website (www.bce2018.org.uk) with an interactive mapping facility. They are accompanied by nine regional reports, one for each of England’s nine regions. The nine regions are based on boundaries of the electoral regions specified in Schedule 1 to the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002. These reports are available on the BCE website or in hard copy at local ‘places of deposit’ (usually a library or town hall in each proposed constituency).
2. South West
The South West has been allocated 53 constituencies – a reduction of two from the current arrangement.
In some counties very few changes are proposed. For example in North Somerset no change is proposed, while in Bristol some existing constituencies are unchanged while others are altered only by the transfer of one ward. More significant change is required in other parts of the region.
Overall, 9 (16%) of the existing constituencies are unchanged. Any solution for the region that ensures all constituencies meet the electoral size rule must include a constituency that contains electors from both Cornwall and Devon. We propose that the Cornwall-Devon boundary is crossed in the north of the two counties, resulting in a constituency that combines the towns of Bideford, Bude and Launceston.
3. Information regarding each region is available below:
Region Electorate Existing constituencies Proposed constituencies
Eastern 4,242,266 58 57
East Midlands 3,275,046 46 44
London 5,118,884 73 68
North East 1,874,396 29 25
North West 5,074,302 75 68
South East 6,067,475* 83* 81*
South West 3,930,770 55 53
West Midlands 3,989,320 59 53
Yorkshire/Humber 3,722,035 54 50
Total 37,294,494* 532* 499*
* figures exclude one current Isle of Wight constituency and its electorate, and two proposed Isle of Wight constituencies, which are exempt from the electorate quota rule.