Monday, 14 November 2016

My alternative proposals: Surrey

Of all the counties and cities in England, Surrey suffers the least change, with 7 constituencies out of 11 being able to remain completely intact.

I believe a few tweaks are needed nonetheless. It is worth noting that 'Egham Hythe ward' does not actually contain the village of Egham Hythe itself but rather a suburb of Staines-upon-Thames, which the Spelthorne constituency should adopt as it is now extending outside of the Spelthorne district for quota purposes and because no such town as 'Spelthorne' exists.

The situation with Esher & Walton, which with 78,545 voters on December 2015 figures is officially over the maximum limit, is tricky because placing both Hersham wards into Runnymede & Weybridge (currently under-quota, and keep in mind that Spelthorne, once part of Middlesex, can only expand into that area in terms of new boundaries) would leave Esher & Walton with insufficient voters. Ward-splitting is therefore needed to deal with this problem, by moving Whiteley village (polling district RB of Hersham South ward, which contains no part of the actual village of Hersham) to Runnymede & Weybridge, with which there are sufficient road links. This puts both constituencies in quota with minimal change.

Because Surrey Heath is large enough, it can donate two rural wards to put Runnymede & Weybridge in quota, leaving the rest of Surrey's constituencies intact.

My alternative proposals for Surrey constituencies (which differ little from the Boundary Commission's initial proposals) are therefore:

Staines(-upon-Thames) succeeds Spelthorne; Spelthorne is only useful for administrative purposes and Staines is a much more recognisable name.
The changed Runnymede & Weybridge's actual electorate is 73,426, and the changed Esher & Walton's actual electorate is 77,399 (see my notes for details).
Camberley & Ash succeeds Surrey Heath; Camberley and Ash are clearly dominant towns within the constituency.
Dorking & Leatherhead has the same boundaries as the current Mole Valley constituency; the name has been changed because the constituency is not coterminous with the Mole Valley district and because it contains villages in the east of the borough of Guildford.
Woking, Guildford, Epsom & Ewell, South West Surrey, Reigate, and Surrey East are all unchanged from their 2010 boundaries.

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