Boundary changes will ‘divide the identity of the Cotswolds in two’

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown says proposed boundary changes will ‘divide the identity of the Cotswolds in two’.

Considerable changes are being proposed for the boundaries of the Cotswolds constituency, under the 2023 review by Boundary Commission for England.

The constituency will effectively be cut into two, much of the Southern part of the Cotswolds, including Cirencester, Tetbury, and Fairford would become part of a new constituency called Cirencester and North Wiltshire, crossing the boundary into Wiltshire, and including the town of Malmesbury and the road link A429.

The likes of Winchcombe and Painswick would be added to the existing Cotswolds constituency under the plans.

The results of the second consultation are now being analysed for a report that will decide if any changes should be made. If any proposals are changed further a written four-week consultation will be held this year.

Commenting on the changes, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP for the Cotswolds said: “The boundary change proposals have come from the independent Boundary Commission and have nothing to do with Members of Parliament.

“However, I think it is very unfortunate that the parliamentary identity of the Cotswolds is being divided into two, especially when the current constituency represents about 75% area of Cotswolds areas of outstanding natural beauty.

“It is also never ideal when more than one MP represents one local authority area. However, I have not made representations against the proposal because parliament produced a much tighter remit for the boundary commission, this time on the size of the population in each constituency.

“So, on that criteria Gloucestershire needs six and a half constituencies and Wiltshire needs seven and a half, so fourteen MPs in total.

“In order to achieve this one constituency has to cross the county boundaries and it is just unfortunate that the proposals mean it will be the Cotswolds.

“I will be seeking a nomination for one of these constituencies, but it is impossible to decide which until the boundaries are finalised next year.

“I have heard from a number of constituents who are unhappy with the proposals and I would encourage them to engage with any future consultation, details of which can be found on the Boundary Commission for England’s website.”

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