Campaigners are celebrating after plans to carve up the Warwick and Leamington parliamentary constituency have been dropped.
New proposals on the constituency boundaries in across the UK have been released today (Tuesday).
Last year’s proposals suggested moving Leamington into a constituency with Kenilworth and Warwick with Stratford.
But today’s revised proposal puts Warwick and Leamington together again - along with many more rural villages.
The aim of the new boundaries were to even out the number of voters in each parliamentary constituency across the country. The original plans would have split Leamington and Warwick’s voters into two separate areas for the first time since 1885.
From these proposals came The 1885 community campaign, which was named after the year from which Warwick and Leamington have been represented together in the same constituency in Parliament.
The group was launched to campaign against the proposals and to keep Warwick and Leamington together in one parliamentary constituency.
Today the next consultation stage on the boundary changes has been released and Leamington and Warwick are back together in the same constituency.
Ben Wesson, a founding member of the 1885 Campaign, which was set up to oppose the changes, said: “I am delighted that the Boundary Commission has confirmed its intention to keep Warwick and Leamington as part of one parliamentary constituency.
“Throughout the consultation, local people, politicians, businesses and community organisations made it known that the two towns form one community of common interest.
“We have demonstrated once again that our resolve to keep Warwick and Leamington together is stronger than the civil servants’ desire to tear us apart. Thank you to everyone who signed our petitions, filled in the consultation or spoke at the Boundary Commission hearing in Leamington. This is a truly great result for our towns.”
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western welcomed the announcement that the Boundary Commission favoured maintaining Warwick and Leamington within a constituency although the proposal includes for many changes.
He said: “The Boundary Commission proposals recognise the fantastic response from the local public that urged the commission to retain our towns including Whitnash within the one constituency. It is testimony to the many that wrote or spoke to the Commissioner in making the case for our continued existence as a political entity.”
“Some of the proposals are questionable, such as the suggestion to exclude Radford Semele from our constituency despite it being virtually connected to west Leamington, separated merely by the river Leam. It is absolutely linked to the towns.”
The consultation has been re-opened until 11th December 11 2017. Residents can make their views known online via the website www.bce2018.org.uk