5th Dec, 2016

Stratford constituency could include Warwick under new plans

Stratford Editorial 13th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CALLS have been made to rethink proposed changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries which could see the Stratford seat merged with Warwick.

The new boundaries in Warwickshire would see the current Warwick and Leamington seat split, with Stratford joining Warwick, and Leamington joining Kenilworth.

Current Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi said it was early days.

He told The Observer: “These proposed boundary changes have not yet been consulted upon and will subsequently have to pass through Parliament. During both of these processes the proposals could be radically altered or cancelled completely.

“However I support the overall efforts of the Boundary Commission to equalise the population size of Parliamentary constituencies; a system where the sizes of the electorate regularly varies by more than 30,000 people undermines democracy.

“It would be wrong for me to do anything other than concentrate on my current constituents in the Stratford constituency.”

But fellow Conservative Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White was far from happy at the possibility of his constituency being divided.

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.”

Stratford District Council Lib-Dem spokesman Peter Moorse found the proposals perplexing.

He said: “The proposals are strange, in that they don’t seem to have any regard for natural boundaries or communities. The Stratford district area will be represented by four different constituencies, so administrative and county boundaries are being ignored as well.”

Villages across south Warwickshire will be divided up into new constituences if the initial proposals get the go-ahead.

Wellesbourne, Walton, Moreton Morrell, Ashorne, and Newbold Pacey would all be merged into the proposed Warwick and Stratford constituency.

Barford, Norton Lindsey, and Hampton Magna, currently within Warwick and Leamington, would also become part of the proposed Warwick and Stratford constituency.

Kineton, Lighthorne, Gaydon, Temple Herdewyke, Fenny Compton, Priors Martson, Harbury, Southam, and Long Itchington would be included in a Rugby and Southam constituency, which would swallow much of the current Kenilworth and Southam seat, held by Jeremy Wright.

Mr Wright 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.”

If approved, the boundaries will change in September 2018.

People can have their say on the proposals on at Leamington’s Pump Rooms on November 10 and 11 from 10am to 8pm.

Visit www.bce2018.org.uk for further details.