One of the pledges from the Conservative Party at the previous General Election, and since adopted by the coalition Government, was to reduce the amount of constituencies in the UK.
Here is a link to the proposals published yesterday. A minority of constituencies are unchanged. Some have minor changes. Others are major and the current Feltham & Heston constituency is carved up in a major way, even greater than I expected.
In summary, here are the local changes proposed:
Brentford & Isleworth
* Hounslow Heath ward will move to the constituency of Teddington and Hanworth
Feltham & Heston
* Bedfont, Feltham North and Feltham West will be included within the Feltham and Hayes constituency
* Cranford, Heston Central, Heston East, Heston West and Hounslow West will be included within the Southall and Heston constituency
* Hanworth and Hanworth Park will be included within the Teddington and Hanworth constituency
I am not surprised at the proposal to split the Heston, Cranford & Hounslow West wards from the West Area (Bedfont, Feltham & Hanworth) ones. Aside from being in different Boroughs, Heston is arguably a better fit with Southall than it is with Feltham e.g. there is no direct bus service from Feltham to Heston and some residents in Heston East ward put Southall down as their address. There are arguably many more synergies between Southall & Heston than between Feltham & Heston.
However, the break up of the West Area is a big surprise because it is an identifiable area and one that has always made sense to me (the local Area Committee has always been called, ‘The West Area’). The inevitable difficulty with very complicated tasks such as these is that there will be constituencies that will be carved up at a much greater extent than others. I know Hayes well and have taken the number 90 many times over the years. Like others, I will mull over the proposals and come to a considered view.
There will be a statutory 12 week consultation exercise, with public hearings in each region. This consultation will continue until 5 December 2011. Here is a link to the relevant page for anyone who wishes to have their say on the proposals.
Finally, I would stress that this has no bearing on the current configuration of Local Authorities and the London Borough of Hounslow will remain as is.