The Boundary Commission has published its revised proposals for changes to the boundaries of Parliamentary constituencies in England. As well as involving a reduction in the number of constituencies across England (from 533 to 501), this also requires that every constituency should have an electorate that is no smaller than 71,031 and no larger than 78,507.
The Newbury constituency electorate is more than 5% above this electoral quota, while Reading East and Reading West are more than 5% below it and Wokingham is within 5% of it.
The revised proposals set out that Aldermaston ward, previously reallocated to Wokingham, should now remain in the Newbury constituency. However, it is proposed that Bucklebury ward (comprising Bradfield, Bucklebury, Stanford Dingley, Frilsham and Hermitage) and Basildon ward (Upper Basildon, Lower Basildon, Aldworth and Streatley) should be transferred to Reading West.
The Commission does take public responses seriously and has to take into account criteria such as ‘any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies’ (para 2.8). It also specifically asks for responses from Bucklebury and Basildon (para 3.24) saying, ‘We welcome evidence from the local communities of Bucklebury and Basildon regarding this finely balanced decision’.
For myself, I would be very sad to no longer represent the villages of these wards and, equally importantly, I strongly feel that Parliamentary constituencies must have coherent boundaries. I do hope you will respond to this consultation. Please feel free to contact my office if you would like any further details.