Sunday, 18 September 2011

Boundary changes - What to do next

After the shock of the boundary review announcements last week the dust is now settling.

We know that the plans for our constituency of North West Leicestershire are major. To show just how major you can see the proposed new constituencies of Bosworth and Coalville and Keyworth below.

Proposed Bosworth Constituency

Proposed Coalville and Keyworth Constituency

It's my firm belief that these proposed constituencies hurt communities. I wrote before that Coalville and Keyworth have no community links - this remains true.

What we also see is the fact communities are being split. Not only the historic links between Ashby and Coalville but the more direct splitting of towns and their immediate neighbour villages in the case of Coalville with Hugglescote and Ellistown.

You might be asking why all of this is important? The answer is simple.

We want our MP's to be passionate about the areas they serve. We want them to promote and support our communities from the rooftops. We want them to forge close links with businesses and local authorities for the betterment of their electors.

Where a community is split do we honestly think this is going to happen?

Moreover, where a constituency includes distinctly separate communities with distinctly different demographic makeups what chance is there that conflicts in representation will more readily arise with one distinct community being better served than the other?

The question however, is what can be done?

If you believe, as I do, that the constituency of North West Leicestershire should be retained (potentially with some villages drawn in to equalise voter numbers) it is vital you let the Boundary Commission know your views.

It is my firm believe however that in saying community is important it must be the community (not just political parties) that are making the point.

To have any realistic chance of changing the mind of the boundary commission we need individuals, community groups, schools, churches and any other organisation that plays a role in our community to have their say.

You have a choice in how you make your views known.

There are public hearings all over the country, the nearest is in Derby on 27 and 28 October, where you can have the opportunity to speak. To register to speak at the public hearing click here .

Alternatively you can make any comments online up until 5 December by clicking here .

If you read this blog and you have views on the proposed constituencies please take the time to respond to the consultation.

Similarly, please pass the message on. The only way we have a chance of retaining our historic links is by showing in massive numbers that this is important to us.

2 comments:

  1. While I think Coalville's proposed new constituency looks very bizarre indeed, Leon, I don't buy the idea that parliamentary constituencies truly define communities. In my area, Moira, we have no connection with the northern parishes of NWL, not a huge amount with Coalville, but very much with Swadlincote and Overseal in South Derbyshire and Burton in East Staffordshire.

    Without getting too up my own fundament, the concept of geographical communities is starting to look dated in the 21C where people often have more connection with people 3,000 miles away than ones just up their street. This changes the whole argument about politicians rising out of, and representing, geographical communities.

    From my perspective the new Bosworth constituency is just as unwieldy as the old NWL one. But I would say you are on a little firmer ground in Coalville.

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  2. Mark, whilst I see North West Leicestershire as a community I absolutely concede that there is a much stronger argument of merging Ashby and Bosworth, or even the former mining villages of Moira, Donisthorpe or Albert Village with South Derbyshire.

    All of these possibilities are tied with some degree of history and heritage, something which sadly Coalville and Keyworth do not share.

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