Boundary change plans could see villages near Ashby switch constituencies to Hinckley & Bosworth

  Posted: 08.06.21 at 11:40 by Graham Hill

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New proposals put forward on boundary changes could see residents of Appleby and Oakthorpe & Donisthorpe wards moved out of North West Leicestershire and into the Hinckley and Bosworth constituency.

The Boundary Commission of England has published its initial proposals for the redesigned electoral map, in an attempt to make each constituency more balanced in terms of voting numbers.

That means two wards close to Ashby could be getting a new MP if the plans go ahead in two years' time.

But the proposals are not definite and residents can have their say before August.

Bev Smith, Chief Executive at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “The Boundary Commission for England is carrying out a review of constituency boundaries in 2023 and has this week released its initial proposals for that review.

“The proposals put forward would see some changes to the North West Leicestershire constituency boundary with the Appleby and Oakthorpe & Donisthorpe wards becoming part of Hinckley and Bosworth instead.

“The commission is consulting on the proposals until August 2 and anyone can have their say through their website HERE.”

Currently, residents of Appleby, Oakthorpe and Donisthorpe have Andrew Bridgen as their MP - if the boundary changes were to happen in 2023, their MP would most likely be Luke Evans.

In the plans, England would gain 10 extra seats from Wales, which would lose eight, and Scotland, which would lose two.

Sir Keir's Starmer's North London seat of Holborn and St Pancras would be renamed Kentish Town and Bloomsbury, only retaining nine of its wards, as the area is currently five per cent over the limit.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Uxbridge and South Ruislip would keep similar boundaries to the current map, adding one extra ward.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's constituency - Richmond - would only lose two wards to Thirsk and Malton.

The commission stressed that the proposed plans were provisional for the consultation period, with final recommendations set to be made to Parliament in July 2023.

Tory MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire Michael Fabricant complained about the proposed changes to his constituency.

"It divides Lichfield Trent Valley station in two and cuts off the eastern edge of Lichfield itself. Frankly, it's a nonsense," he said.

"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."

Commission secretary Tim Bowden 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.

"We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies right."

The Boundary Commissions for Scotland and Wales are set to publish their proposals separately.

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