Boundaries Review

I have previously posted about the proposals and my previous posting commented on my response to the Labour plea for a Council response to them.

My first posting on this indicated that the proposal as it stands is not perfect but not everything in life is.  I have stood twice in Feltham & Heston and care deeply for the entire constituency and its various distinct parts.  A number of Labour Councillors have expressed their own concerns.  Here is one from Ruth Cadbury.

She says:

“…Feltham and Heston disappears altogether.  Its ten wards will be split 3-ways with the 3 Heston wards, Cranford and Hounslow West going to Ealing Southall; Feltham North and West and Bedfont wards go to a new Feltham and Hayes constituency; and finally Hanworth and Hanworth Park go into a new Teddington and Hanworth constiuency, where Hounslow Heath will also go.

This means that Hounslow will be represented by four MPs instead of the current two.  What’s more, 3 of them will face outwards to the borough where the majority of their voters live, ie Ealing, Hillingdon or Richmond upon Thames.  Hounslow’s residents will therefore be poorly served by their MPs, as the Council will now need to brief and work with 4 MPs, not two, made more difficult when 3 of the MPs have their majority interests in other boroughs.  This obsession with equally-sized constituencies ends the assumption that there is co-terminosity of constituencies with local authority areas, and weakens democratic accountability.”

I do not dismiss entirely her reference to co-terminosity of constituencies with local authority areas but:

  1. She appears to have little faith in whoever the MPs for these new constituencies could be.
  2. As for briefing and working with more MPs, lets not overplay that one or assume that more is a bad thing.  More the merrier?  More MPs batting for the Borough?
  3. I expect whoever the MPs to be to care for their entire constituency.  I do not agree with her claims.  Maybe I have more faith?  Even if I am being naive, the concept of being accountable in the form of elections is a good way of preventing an MP ignoring three or four wards because they happen to be in a different Borough.

If the Labour Party is getting upset about these proposals, imagine what we can expect when the proposals for Scotland and the Principality come out?

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