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‘I trust I can rely on your vote... where are we again?’ - new Warwickshire boundary proposals unveiled

WARWICKSHIRE people have been invited to have their say on new plans to redraw MPs’ constituencies in the county.

And they could be forgiven for being a little dizzy, as some find themselves in a different seat for the third election running.

A 12-week public consultation has begun on the proposals, drawn up by the independent Boundary Change Commission.

In Warwickshire, the map will stay blue, but the ‘croissant-shaped’ constituency of Kenilworth and Southam, created for the last election, would be no more.

Last year the Electoral Reform Society and research group Democratic Audit predicted that the “geographically straggly” constituency would be split up and that Southam would join Rugby.

This came true, but the second part - that Kenilworth would join Warwick and Leamington and leave two MPs competing for one seat - has not.

Instead, Kenilworth has been linked with Dorridge, despite Dorridge lying outside Warwickshire and the towns having no previous link. Elsewhere, Rugby MP Mark Pawsley (Con) could find Southam on his patch if he wins, and with it several villages affected by the proposed HS2 rail link from London to Birmingham.

While Jeremy Wright could keep Kenilworth and its HS2 worries, some have speculated he could find himself in a showdown with environment secretary Caroline Spelman (Meriden) for the new Kenilworth and Dorridge seat including Stoneleigh, Leek Wootton and Lapworth.

Cubbington and Radford Semele and Claverdon and Snitterfield would find themselves in Chris White MP’s Warwick and Leamington constituency, the only changes to the seat reduced largely to the two towns in 2010.

Another curious outcome would be that Ryton-on-Dunsmore, once a part of the Rugby and Kenilworth seat, would fall under the influence of Nuneaton, a former Labour seat won at the last election by Conservative Marcus Jones.

Meanwhile, Wellesbourne, Kineton and Burton Dassett would find themselves back in Nadhim Zahawi’s Stratford constituency (Con).

No MP responded to the Courier’s request for comments. Both Chris White MP and Jeremy Wright MP last year said they were in favour of more evenly sized constituencies and cutting the cost of politics.

The changes, the second part of a deal between Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats that also included May’s AV referendum, would reduce the number of MPs in England from 533 to 502 and from 650 to 600 across the UK, saving an estimated £12 million.

There will be public hearings at Shire Hall in Warwick on Thursday November 10 from 11am to 8pm and on November 11 from 9am to 5pm.

 

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