Wednesday, 22 March 2017

My revised proposals: Dorset

Within the second consultation on the 2018 Boundary Review, which ends in five days' time (so do not delay when commenting on the BCE's website!) here have been a considerable number of objections to the drawing of constituencies in the county of Dorset, especially the South East Dorset conurbation covering the authorities of Bournemouth, Poole, and Christchurch; with Ferndown from East Dorset also really part of the same conurbation now.

There have in particular been many arguments in favour of broadly keeping the two Bournemouth constituencies (apart from adding Branksome West to Bournemouth West to pair it with the Branksome East and Alderney wards of Poole already in the current constituency of Bournemouth West) intact, such as the locations of student accommodation, the justified argument that Kinson is an integral part of Bournemouth and not a suburb of it, and that Christchurch has strongly different needs from Bournemouth despite being part of the same conurbation as Bournemouth and Poole. All of these are justified and I have taken them into consideration within my revised proposals. Of the wards in the current Christchurch constituency, the St Leonards ward near Ringwood is not truly part of the conurbation and thus can be safely removed from this constituency, with the remainder wrapping around to take in the 'Poole North' part of the current Mid Dorset & Poole North, leaving simply Mid Dorset to absorb nearly half of the current North Dorset.

A resident near the constituency of South Dorset objected to the fact that South Dorset did not include the West Dorset ward of Chickerell & Chesil Bank, and believed that Weymouth & Portland BC should be extended to include it. Extending local council boundaries is of course outside the remit of this review, but his point about Chickerell having been effectively merged into Weymouth is still valid. Therefore, his wish can be satisfied by adding Chickerell & Chesil Bank ward to South Dorset, which also represents minimal change for South Dorset. West Dorset can compensate by taking in the Winterborne area of the current North Dorset constituency and Bere Regis from Mid Dorset & North Poole, which have good enough road links. My version of the proposed cross-county constituency of Warminster & Shaftesbury (and consequently all of the Wiltshire proposals entirely in Wiltshire) is unaffected by any of these changes.

My revised proposals for Dorset for the 2018 boundary review look like this:

North Dorset is abolished.
Mid Dorset succeeds Mid Dorset & North Poole.
Warminster & Shaftesbury succeeds South West Wiltshire as it does in the original proposals.
Bournemouth East is unchanged; however, West Dorset is not.

With only five days remaining until the second consultation ends, I will sadly not have time to publish on this blog revised proposals for every area of Britain, but will publish those where I feel deviation from the original proposals by the Boundary Commission, and also my own proposals from the first consultation, is most essential.

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