Boundary proposals a ‘dog’s dinner’ says Cotswold MP

Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown labelled proposals to merge swathes of his constituency with North Wiltshire a ‘dog’s dinner’.

A review by the Boundary Commission for England has proposed making areas as far away as Cirencester, Fairford and Siddington part of a constituency named ‘Cirencester and North Wiltshire’.

Sir Clifton-Brown said that while change was inevitable, he did not expect it to be so radical.

“Cirencester is the centre of my seat and it is sad that these plans would deprive the town of its Cotswolds hinterland.

“This proposal will fundamentally split up the integrity of the Cotswolds constituency and the largest constituency representing the Cotswolds AONB, of which 80 per cent is covered by the Cotswolds District Council.

The proposals, aimed at ensuring seats with broadly similar numbers of voters, will see England gain 10 additional seats overall.

By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors.

“We have six-and-a-half seats in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire have seven-and-a-half, essentially what they have done is joined them together and tried to allocate 14 seats to equalise the population,” the Cotswold MP continued.

“This is the result, and in short, it is a bit of a dog’s dinner for Gloucestershire. There will be ample opportunity to make representation for and against these proposals.”

The South West region has been allocated 58 constituencies in the proposals – an increase of three.

The commission has stressed that the proposals, which open for an initial eight-week public consultation period, were provisional.

It is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023.

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.”

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