Posts Tagged ‘Constituency Boundary Proposals’

Boundaries Review

September 21, 2011

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?

Constituency Boundary Proposals

September 13, 2011

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.