Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, has welcomed the fact that the Boundary review proposals for 2018 leave the city intact and keep all of the seat he won in 2010 and 2015 with the addition of two small wards.
The long awaited proposals reflect the move to reduce the cost of Parliament by bringing down the number of MPs to 600 and after decades in which some seats where much bigger than others, to balance the number of voters in each constituency much more evenly.
The rules, which were set by the 2010 Parliament allow the independent Commission to look across County boundaries for the first time and mean that every constituency will hold between 71,031 and 78,507 voters.
Within this context the revised Worcester seat would be at the smaller end with 74,832 electors and it is proposed to take in the wards of Norton & Whittington, immediately to the South of the City and Drakes Broughton, between Norton and Pershore. Although this will mean that some areas of Wychavon come back into the Worcester seat for the first time since 1992, the changes are less dramatic than they might have been or than have occurred in other areas.
Should the proposed review go through as planned Worcester would be the smallest of six Worcestershire seats by population with the others ranging from Redditch at 77,756 to Evesham at 78,172. Two of the proposed Worcestershire seats would cross the county boundaries with Evesham taking in parts of Warwickshire and Malvern taking in parts of Herefordshire but Worcestershire will continue to have at least parts of six seats in Parliament.
Commenting on the initial proposals, Robin said:
“I am glad that these proposals keep the Worcester seat together and mean that the whole city will continue to be represented by one MP. Worcester is an historic seat in Parliament and is politically iconic so I would have resisted any attempt to change its status or to split the city. The addition of two rural wards will undoubtedly create some extra work, but I think it is manageable and I already have a good relationship with Wychavon district council as near neighbours. Including Norton and Whittington in the Worcester seat will resolve some longstanding boundary issues in St Peter’s Parish where one side of the street was in one constituency and one in the other. It will also bring the new Worcestershire Parkway Station into my constituency. I am also glad that Worcestershire would retain six MPs overall.”
“On balance I welcome these proposals but I shall be interested to hear from constituents and from the people of the Wychavon wards as to how they feel about it. I particularly welcome the fact that Worcester voters will now know that their votes count just as much as those of voters in other parts of the country. Once that principle was established it was always inevitable that there would be some change to the boundaries, but I am content that the changes currently proposed are fairly small. I can assure constituents that my usual surgeries and attendance at constituency events across Worcester will continue and in any case my responsibilities to all my existing constituents remain the same. Any changes that emerge from this process will take effect at the time of the next General Election, making no difference to the area that I represent in the meantime.”
“This is the beginning of the process rather than the end so I would encourage both my existing and potential constituents to have a look and make their own comments on the boundary commission website.”
Notes to editors:
For more information on the 2018 Boundary Review complete with maps and instructions on how to give feedback see: http://www.bce2018.org.uk/