District set to respond to boundary proposals

Kenilworth is planned to be paired with Leamington - but Conservatives would be happy to see it merge with south Coventry
Kenilworth is planned to be paired with Leamington - but Conservatives would be happy to see it merge with south Coventry
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District councillors will be asked to support the campaign to stop Leamington and Warwick being separated in proposed electoral boundary changes.

As reported by The Courier and Weekly News last week, the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has reviewed the boundaries of all the parliamentary constituencies in England and proposed new boundaries for the Warwick and Leamington constituency.

The current plans would lead to the Warwick and Leamington parliamentary constituency being divided, with Leamington joining Kenilworth to form a new Kenilworth and Leamington seat and Warwick joining Stratford to create a Stratford and Warwick constituency.

Warwick district councillors will be asked next week to vote to respond to the proposals and ask that they are “based upon the principle of using boundaries which reflect the integrity of recognisable geographic and economically linked communities”.

The council’s report on the issue says: “The proposed boundaries do not reflect a recognisable geographic or economic community as they split the physically adjoining towns of Warwick and Leamington and also split the town of Warwick, because the Kenilworth and Leamington Constituency, as proposed, includes the Myton and Heathcote Ward of the district, but which falls within the boundaries of the town of Warwick.”

Officers have further concerns about the proposals.

The report says: “They will not achieve sustainable electoral equality, in that the electoral number upon which the constituencies are devised do not properly reflect development growth and improved electoral registration making it impossible that electoral equality can be sustained for at least the period to the General Election in 2025 without requiring a further significant boundary review.

“The Boundary Commission should be mindful of the significant uplift in registered electors across the country as a result of the EU referendum which has seen the Warwick district parliamentary electorate rise to 103,195, from the 97,930 in December last year.

“If replicated at the same or greater scale across the country, it could radically alter the ratio of electors to an MP and not achieve the desired aim of electoral equality.

“The commission needs to use coterminous electoral boundaries, ie county divisions, district Wards and Parish/Town Council or parish/town ward boundaries, as the building blocks for the shape of Parliamentary Constituencies in order to avoid voter confusion.”

The 1885 community campaign, named after the year from which Warwick and Leamington have been represented together in the same constituency in Parliament, was launched last week to oppose the proposals.

Residents can attend public hearings about the proposals which are to be held at the Royal Pump Room in Leamington on November 10 and 11.

For more information visit http://bit.ly/2ei40ge.