Boundary shake-up could kick Cirencester out of the Cotswolds

Cirencester could be kicked out of the Cotswolds if proposed changes to constituency boundaries go ahead.

Initial plans announced today by the Boundary Commission for England would make the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’ part of an expanded North Wiltshire constituency.

Tetbury, Fairford, Coates, Siddington and parts of Northleach would also be made part of the constituency named ‘Cirencester and North Wiltshire’.

Those areas would be represented by Conservative James Gray, not Cotswolds MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown who is there current MP.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Proposed boundary changes: The blue line represents the boundaries as they currently are, the red line the proposed expansion of North WiltshireProposed boundary changes: The blue line represents the boundaries as they currently are, the red line the proposed expansion of North Wiltshire

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

With the bulk of these in the South, this could be a boost for the Conservatives, though Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s seat has been carved up, as has Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s.

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

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will see his parliamentary boundaries substantially redrawn, while the seats of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will remain largely unchanged under the proposed new electoral map of England.

Of the 533 existing English constituencies, fewer than 10 per cent will remain unchanged under the proposals.

By law, the commission is required to draw up seats with 69,724 to 77,062 electors – a condition which it said meant that widespread change was “inevitable”.

The commission 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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