The Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Jon Collins, has voiced his concerns about plans for new Parliamentary Constituency Boundary arrangements for Nottingham which he believes would erode the clear accountability between constituents, local authorities and MPs.
His comments come in response to a Review by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) which would see the three current Parliamentary constituencies scrapped and replaced by city constituencies crossing multiple local authority boundaries, with a total of five constituencies crossing the City of Nottingham boundary.
Amongst other knock on effects within the BCE proposals, the two Clifton wards in the city would transfer to a new West Bridgford constituency and Bilborough ward would transfer to the proposed new Broxtowe and Hucknall constituency.
As part of the consultation process on the Boundary Commission’s ideas, the Council has produced a counter-proposal including the extension of Nottingham East constituency which would mean a minimal level of change to the City and maintains the current number of MPs with constituencies covering the city. The Council’s proposals would also ensure that existing local communities and ties in the city are maintained, which the BCE proposals do not.
This counter-proposal would also ensure the three constituencies would fall within the BCEs desired electoral size for constituencies – a key criteria of the BCE Review.
The Council’s counter-proposal will be discussed at a Full Council meeting on Monday 14th November and, if agreed, will be submitted to the BCE.
Councillor Collins said: “We have real concerns over the proposals by the Boundary Commission which we don’t believe are in the best interests of the people of Nottingham.
“It’s vital we have boundaries and constituencies that both reflect and connect the places where people live and work with the people they choose to represent them.
“In our view, the Boundary Commission’s proposals will erode that principle and that’s why we are putting forward an alternative which we believe will maintain accountability, reduce confusion and put the interests of the City first”.
The Boundary Commission is running a consultation on its initial proposals until 5 December 2016. For more information and to have your say, visit https://www.bce2018.org.uk/