Big changes planned for Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth in boundary overhaul

Chris White MP's constituency of Warwick and Leamington could be split if the newly-proposed boundary changes come into effect
Chris White MP's constituency of Warwick and Leamington could be split if the newly-proposed boundary changes come into effect

New proposals to change constituency boundaries could have big effects on how people vote in Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and their surrounding villages.

The proposed boundaries of Kenilworth and Leamington, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon, and Rugby and Southam would come into effect by 2018 if the national plans are approved.

The new boundaries, which aim to even out the number of voters in each parliamentary constituency across the country, would split Leamington and Warwick’s voters into two separate areas for the first time since 1885.

Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White felt the changes would damage the link between the two towns.

He said: “The proposed changes to constituencies in South Warwickshire are not, in my opinion, in line with the make-up of our local area and should be reconsidered.

“To divide the towns of Warwick and Leamington, each being assigned to separate constituencies, does not make sense in terms of the close affiliation of the towns and the corresponding local authority structure.”

Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright’s opinion on the proposed changes was more guarded.

He said: “The objectives of equalising the size of Parliamentary constituencies and reducing the cost of politics are absolutely the right ones for the Boundary Commission to pursue and doing so was bound to lead to changes.

“The changes proposed for our part of Warwickshire are very substantial however and everyone needs time to consider them properly.

“It is worth remembering that these are initial proposals which can change.

“Whatever the final proposals, I will continue to serve all my constituents equally right up to the next general election in May 2020.”

Chair of the Warwick and Leamington Labour Party Jerry Weber was strongly opposed to the changes, and believed they would benefit the Conservatives.

He said: “We have been presented with a proposal that makes no sense to our community.

The proposal will sever the historic link between Warwick and Leamington, as the towns are divided into separate parliamentary constituencies, with the boundary between the two at the River Avon on Potterton Bridge.

“One of the criteria that the Electoral Commission must look at are that parliamentary boundaries make sense to communities.

“This proposal makes no sense at all to the reality of the close link between the two towns and the current local authority administration.

“We will be working hard to ensure that this proposal is reversed and that we see a constituency that resonates with our community.”