The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) yesterday (June 8) published its initial proposals, including changes to both Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire constituencies.
The public are now able to view and provide feedback on the proposed constituencies as part of an eight-week consultation process.
Under the proposed changes, part of Fletton and Woodston ward (FLW1), which is currently in the Peterborough constituency, would join the remainder of the ward in North West Cambridgeshire.
In addition, two areas of the Glinton and Castor ward (GLC and PEA) which currently sit in the Peterborough constituency, would join the remainder of the ward in North West Cambridgeshire. The changes would bring the Parliamentary boundaries in line with the ward boundaries that were changed in 2016.
The 2023 Review of Parliamentary constituencies was formally launched in January this year. The Commission is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal; in doing so, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.
The Commission is undertaking an independent review of all constituency boundaries in England and will present final recommendations to Parliament by July 2023.
Publication of the initial proposals today is the first-time people get to see what the map of new constituencies might look like. The rules that the Commission work to are such that wide scale change is inevitable. Under the proposals announced today, just under 10% of the existing 533 English constituencies remain unchanged.
The proposals for Cambridgeshire would see an increase from seven to eight, with a new constituency called “St Neots” in the west of the county.
The independent commission said that in Cambridgeshire it has been possible to propose a pattern of constituencies that are wholly contained within the county boundary.
The number of constituencies in the east of England would rise from 58 to 61.
The names of all but one of the existing seven Cambridgeshire constituencies would remain the same, but their boundaries would change as a result. South East Cambridgeshire would become East Cambridgeshire, as part of a boundary change that would see its southern tip passed to South Cambridgeshire.
The South Cambridgeshire constituency would retain its name, but would not extend as far north in the west of the county and would spread east in the south of the county.
The new St Neots constituency would include St Neots, Longstowe, Cambourne, Girton, Willingham, Elsworth, Swavesey. and other areas.
The 2023 review of parliamentary constituencies was launched in January this year.
Publication of the proposals on Tuesday is the first opportunity to see what the map of new constituencies might look like, and marks the start of the first of three rounds of consultation.
The Boundary Commission will present final recommendations to Parliament by July 2023.
The number of constituencies across the United Kingdom will stay the same, at 650, but the Boundary Commission said it is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.bcereviews.org.uk to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and provide feedback before the consultation closes on August 2, 2021.
People can comment on anything from where the proposed new boundary lines are to the names of the constituencies. There will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2022. Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the Commission will look at all the evidence received and form its final recommendations.
Tim Bowden, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Today’s proposals mark the first-time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like. But they are just the Commission’s initial thoughts.
Help us draw the line to make the number of electors in each Parliamentary constituency more equal. Each constituency we recommend is required by law to contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors, meaning there will be significant change to current boundaries. We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies right.
“We consider all feedback received during the consultation process, and it is your local knowledge that helps us to shape constituencies that best reflect your local area. It is easy to get involved - view our proposals and have your say on our online consultation portal.”
Additional Reporting by Ben Hatton
Local Democracy Reporting Service