Monday, 3 October 2016

My alternative boundaries: Bedfordshire

With regards to the 2018 review of parliamentary constituencies, Bedfordshire is pretty useful because the under-quota urban constituencies of Luton North, Luton South, and Bedford are balanced out by the rural constituencies of Mid Bedfordshire and North East Bedfordshire being over-quota.

I have tried various combinations where the ward of Kempston Rural is linked with Kempston and therefore Bedford, but unfortunately I have not been able to find a situation where this link can be created which avoids splitting wards; Bedfordshire's constituency entitlement requires on average constituencies below the electoral average of 74,769. Also, the creation of Central Bedfordshire to replace both Mid and South Bedfordshire councils has resulted in some very large rural wards which can sometimes be awkward to work with when creating new constituencies.

Nevertheless, creating sensible constituencies here is relatively easy:

'Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard' is the same as the current South West Bedfordshire apart from minor internal ward adjustments. It and Luton North (as opposed to Luton North & Houghton; Houghton is much better connected with Dunstable) are my only deviations from the Boundary Commission for England's initial proposals for Bedfordshire.

Next in this series: Suffolk.

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