The Boundary Commission for England* is undertaking a review of Parliamentary constituencies in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – called the 2018 Review.
*The Boundary Commission for England is an independent and impartial non-departmental public body which is responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
What is a boundary review?
Parliamentary boundaries define the geographic area represented by each MP – known as their parliamentary constituency.
A parliamentary boundary review examines the existing constituencies and makes recommendations for any changes that are needed to ensure that constituencies comply with legal requirements, which make sure that the number of electors in each constituency is broadly equal, whilst also taking into account factors such as local community ties.
The 2018 Review will deliver its recommendations in September 2018. To help create the recommendations, the boundary commission is asking for local people’s views so that they can capture the local knowledge and expertise as part of the process.
Why is the review taking place?
One of the key requirements of the review is to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 (from 650) across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Within England alone the number of constituencies will reduce from 533 to 501.
To achieve this, the boundary commission must review and recommend where the new constituency boundaries should be. By law these** must have roughly the same number of electors - no fewer than 71,031 and no more than 78,507.
**except four specified island constituencies
What does this mean for Lichfield District?
The boundary commission published initial proposals for consultation on 13 September 2016. Within these it has suggested that the wards of Whittington and Streethay should move into the Tamworth Parliamentary Constituency following the review – note 31 on page 12.
31 “We propose to extend the existing Tamworth constituency to include the whole of the divided Lichfield district ward of Whittington & Streethay within the Tamworth constituency. We noted that this change resulted in the electorate of the existing Lichfield constituency falling below 5% of the electoral quota, even after including the whole of the Lichfield district ward of Hammerwich with Wall in the Lichfield constituency. We therefore propose to include the Stafford borough ward of Haywood & Hixon in the Lichfield constituency. (page 12)
Give your views
The boundary commission is keen to hear as many views as possible on the proposed changes.
To give your views visit the Boundary Commission for England’s website by 5 December 2016. You can also follow the review on Twitter @BCE2018 or using #2018boundaryreview.
There will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2017. Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the boundary commission will look at all the evidence received and make final recommendations to Parliament in September 2018.
Lichfield District Council will be responding formally to the consultation.