Tuesday, 13 September 2016

New parliamentary boundaries get closer and I am feeling chuffed about them

Almost five years ago to the week, I received an invitation to attend a public meeting in Derby organised by the Boundary Commission for England to give evidence in person on proposed changes to parliamentary boundaries in the East Midlands. Back then I lived in the Nottingham South constituency and our Labour MP, Lilian Greenwood, asked me to draft some alternative proposals to those being submitted by the Labour Party (without any local consultation at the time).

This came about because, along with my wife, Susan Griffiths, back in 2000 I had proposed new ward boundaries for Nottingham City Council wards (which came into use in 2003) in opposition to the boundaries proposed by the City Council and its Labour Group. A few Labour Party city councillors and the the then City Labour Party did not object to the ward proposals we submitted in the name of the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum, which I was chairing at the time. We saw proposals from the Conservative and Liberal parties and, in the end, the City Council did not contest the final boundary recommendations from the Commission. It was quite an achievement at the time and we were actively encouraged to submit our proposals by Commission staff and so it was ten years later with the changes to parliamentary boundaries in the East Midlands.

Below are maps I created back in 2011 and submitted to the Boundary Commission at the time. I also posted an entry to my then Parkviews blog (see this one about giving evidence to the Boundary Commission in person dated 31 October 2011).

The original Boundary Commission proposals show a revised Broxtowe constituency including Gotham on the south side of the Trent and West Bridgford becoming part of Nottingham South.

My proposed Nottingham constituencies put Nottingham South with Beeston and moved Wollaton into Broxtowe. I left Nottingham North much as it was and joined the urban Gedling wards with Nottingham East.

The Boundary Commission's revised boundary proposals were publicised yesterday and have been published on the web. As of yet I can find no proper map, so I have captured this online map from the website dedicated to the 2018 parliamentary boundary proposals.

Including Clifton with the proposed West Bridgford constituency makes sense given that it is south of the Trent, but by any measure the latest constituency boundary proposals for Greater Nottingham is a great improvement on the 2011 proposals.

I think I can fairly claim that my proposed Nottingham constituencies back in 2011 have contributed to the formation of the latest proposals from the Boundary Commission. I admit to being chuffed.

You can comment on the proposed boundary changes by visiting the website or attending the Commission's public hearing in Derby on 27–28 October 2016. The chances are I won't be able to attend as I am due to have open heart surgery quite soon (I am just waiting for a date).

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