The Tories want to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 by equalising the amount of voters per constituency.
The resulting proposal will see the butchering of our constituency, moving Dursley, Cam, Berkeley and Vale wards to a new Dursley, Thornbury and Yate constituency, and transferring Nailsworth ward into the Cotswolds. We would gain Quedgeley from Gloucester.
Labour Party Sumission to BCE.pdf sets out our counter proposals. These will be heard at a public hearing on 17 November 2016 10am - 8pm and 18 November 2016 10am - 5pm in the Council Chamber, Bristol City Council. Labour has written a letter to Town and Parish Councils.pdf urging that they make representations and has gained the support of Stroud District Council in making its own representations SDC letter to the Boundary Commission.pdf. Individuals can comment too. The deadline for comments in 5 December 2016.
Former CLP chair Geoff Wheeler, who has looked into the proposals, believes the changes will unfairly disadvantage the Labour Party and is encouraging members to object.
He says the proposals are unnecessarily complicated, they split a constituency with a strong local character in two, incorporating urban wards into an area of small towns and rural areas and they dilute links between Stroud district and the MPs that would represent parts of the district.
Geoff said: "The Conservative government aims to reduce the number of MPs in parliament and have nearly equal numbers of electors in each constituency. But by their own timetable this means that the numbers they use are out of date, and are clearly less than either the number of electors for the recent referendum or those who votes in previous elections.
"For Stroud it does not take account of the recent revision of local electoral wards. The proposals from the Boundary Commission appear to be just an arithmetic exercise without taking into account what makes up a strong community.
"It’s important to retain as much as possible of the Stroud local council area within one parliamentary constituency and that’s where our Labour Party suggestions succeed. We’ve shown that it is not necessary to make major changes to Stroud constituency, while allowing the neighbouring Thornbury & Yate constituency to increase its electorate to the required number."
You can read his full report below. And you can read more details about the review – and how to object – can be found here. Enter a postcode and under useful links, click on ‘Make a general comment’.
The nearest public consultation event is in Bristol on November 17th and 18th.
The Parliamentary Constituency Boundary Review and its consequences for Stroud
Why is there a Boundary Review?
The coalition government passed an Act in 2011 that allows for a reduction in the number of seats in the House of Commons from 650 to 600.
The reductions means that for almost every seat the quota of electors is set as 74,769, or should be within the range 71,031 – 78,507.
How does this affect Stroud constituency?
In order to change the boundaries in time for the 2020 general election, the government have asked the Boundary Commission (an independent body) to present proposals to parliament by 2018. That means the number of electors is taken as those on registers in December 2015.
For Stroud constituency that number was 80,909 so a part of Stroud has to be transferred to another constituency.
How is that done?
The Boundary Commission wants constituencies to be made up of whole district council wards. This greatly restricts the means of re-arranging constituencies. In addition the district council wards are taken as those in existence in 2015, not based on the recent changes in 2016.
What does the Boundary Commission propose for Stroud?
The BC have considered the constituencies in the county of Gloucestershire and the South Gloucestershire area together. This is important because while only two of the six constituencies in the county are outside the electoral range, all three of the constituencies in S Gloucestershire need to be topped up to fall within the limits.
The BC proposes that the Dursley, Cam, Berkeley and Vale wards should be transferred to a new constituency called Dursley, Thornbury and Yate.
They also propose that Nailsworth ward should be transferred to The Cotswold constituency.
These proposals effectively split the constituency into two parts. They also mean that the remaining part would not have enough electors, so the BC propose including the Quedgeley wards from Gloucester City into this remaining part of Stroud.
What are the objections?
* The Boundary Commission proposals are too complicated
* The Boundary commission splits a constituency that is made up of small towns and rural areas, i.e. a clearly homogeneous area, into several parts that also would include strongly urban wards from Gloucester City
* The constituencies will tend to break up links between the local MPs and Stroud District Council – an area that needs strong liaison.
* The number of electors is based on out-of-date figures (the total electorate used is some 1.5 million less than the number registered for the referendum).
What does the CLP propose?
It is not necessary to dismember the existing Stroud constituency in the way the BC proposes.
Working with other Gloucestershire CLPs, the region and Labour HQ we have shown the changes can be limited
We propose that to reduce the number of electors in the Stroud constituency
Transfer Painswick and Bisley wards to The Cotswolds – Minchinhampton is already in the Cotswolds and these two wards have a strong Cotswold connection
To increase the electors in the Thornbury & Yate constituency transfer Vale ward (Ham & Stone, Alkington and Stinchcombe) from Stroud
These changes are simpler and retain the central core of the Stroud constituency
The wards that would be retained and those transferred are shown below:
Stroud constituency (all wards currently in Stroud constituency)
Amberley and Woodchester
Coaley and Uley
Eastington and Standish
Farmhill and Paganhill
Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe
Upton St Leonards
Bisley (currently in Stroud constituency)
Painswick (currently in Stroud constituency)
Thornbury, Yate and Tetbury
Kingswood (currently in The Cotswolds constituency)
Vale (currently in the Stroud constituency)
Wotton-under-Edge (currently in The Cotswolds constituency)