Friday, 25 November 2016

My alternative constituencies: Warwickshire

As I move into the final part of the West Midlands section of my series of alternative constituencies, I can tell you that the deadline to electronically submit alternative proposals to the Boundary Commission for England regarding the 2018 review is 5 December, just 10 days from now.

Making a total mess of Meriden and Solihull, however awkward the Meriden constituency looks, is not appropriate or necessary; the Solihull constituency forms a distinct community and should be left alone. The ward split in Meriden should happen at the edge and the spare polling district should go to the (expanded) North Warwickshire constituency, which formed a substantial part of the pre-1983 constituency of Meriden (it had 98,914 electors in 1979!). It is more appropriate to pair Kenilworth with a  Coventry constituency (since Coventry does not have quite enough electors for three constituencies on its own) since Bedworth is too large to fit into a Coventry constituency and Kenilworth has good links with Coventry (and certainly better links than with Rugby or Southam).

It is also clear that Warwick and Leamington are inextricably entwined, and therefore should never be separated when drawing new constituencies, Nor should any part of rural Warwickshire be combined with a Worcestershire constituency as I have said earlier; expanding the existing Warwickshire constituencies so that they are close to the maximum electorate limit, but not over it, is possible when done carefully.

My alternative constituencies for Warwickshire (& Solihull & Coventry) look like this:

Kenilworth & Southam is abolished.
Coventry East succeeds Coventry North East.
Coventry South West & Kenilworth succeeds Coventry South.
West Warwickshire succeeds Meriden and is in fact identical to Meriden but with polling district ME01 of Meriden ward removed from it, making its actual electorate 76,360 and the changed North Warwickshire's new electorate 76,516. This constituency actually covers a wide variety of communities, and therefore the Meriden name is not appropriate.
Solihull is unchanged.

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