The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has today published revised proposals for new constituency boundaries and commenced an eight-week consultation.
The BCE is still recommending a cross-Tamar Devonwall constituency, and has glossed over the massive level of opposition to this breach of Cornwall’s historic integrity.
Dick Cole has said he’s disappointed but not surprised.
“At the Boundary Commission hearing in Truro in November, I argued that the whole process – with regard to Cornwall was flawed – and appealed to the BCE that they should recognise this and join us in making representations to central government to rethink their approach, to modify the existing legislation and make sure that a cross-Tamar “Devonwall” constituency is not created.
I am very disappointed, but not surprised, that the BCE has chosen not to do this.”
The leader of Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall has now called on the Prime Minister to make a formal announcement that she will scrap the Boundary Review that would lead to the creation of an unpopular cross-Tamar constituency.
Theresa May is coming under pressure from all sides to stop the bill – with MPs from across the country opposed for various reasons. Devonwall is never mentioned in the national press.
Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat chief whip, told The Independent “stop wasting money on a dead-duck boundary review”.
“The DUP will not wear this review. Nor will many Tory backbenchers. The Government should stop wasting public funds and bow to the inevitable,” he said.
Meanwhile back home Cllr Dick Cole said: “As someone who has campaigned against the imposition of a ‘Devonwall’ parliamentary constituency for a number of years, I was pleased to see numerous recent newspaper reports that the Conservatives intended to scrap the Boundary Review.
“But I am perplexed that that Theresa May’s Government is allowing the Review to continue – especially as they no longer have a majority in the House of Commons and the recommendations of the Boundary Commission will almost certainly not be supported by opposition MPs or their friends in the Democratic Unionist Party.
“Senior Conservatives have already admitted that their attempt to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 is doomed to failure, and I call on Theresa May to end this farce of a Boundary Review and think again.
Following a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is equal, the BCE has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of the new constituencies should be.
An initial 12-week consultation was held in the autumn last year, giving the public the first chance to view and comment on BCE’s plans, followed by a second consultation in the Spring of this year. Over 25,000 public responses were received nationally during these consultations. “Based on what the public have told us about their local communities, we have decided to revise over half of our initial proposals” said a spokesperson for the BCE
Dick Cole continued
“We will certainly be continuing with our campaigns to protect the territorial integrity of Cornwall, and for Cornwall to be treated as a distinct entity for the purposes of governance.”