Constituency boundaries set to change

CONSTITUENCY boundaries are set to change, with one MP losing their seat if plans are given the go-ahead.

Under the proposals Hitchin would become part of the North Herts seat, which also takes in Buntingford, represented by MP Oliver Heald. It would also include Letchworth GC, Baldock and Royston.

The Mid Bedfordshire seat would become Mid Bedfordshire and Harpenden meaning MP for Mid Bedfordshire, Nadine Dorries and Mr Lilley going head to head over the boundary.

Under the proposals, Mid Bedfordshire and Harpenden would take in the villages of Kimpton, Wheathampstead, Cadwell and Hitchwood, Offa and Hoo. It would also include Langford and Henlow, Shefford and Stotfold and Arlesey.

The proposals by the Boundary Commission for England and Wales would see the Stevenage constituency grow to 80,273 from 69,357 which would make it one of the largest in the Eastern region.

The area held by Conservative Stephen McPartland would also include the villages of Walkern, Chesfield, Watton-at-Stone, Mundens and Cottered.

But Sharon Taylor, leader of labour-run Stevenage Borough Council, is unhappy with the plans.

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She said: “When the first proposal came out in 2011 we said we would be happy to accept Chesfield as it has a natural link with Stevenage, but it doesn’t make sense to have Watton-at-Stone, Mundens and Cottered and Walkern as that means we are way above the boundary commission’s recommended requirement of constituents, and these villages haven’t been apart of Stevenage for years.”

MP Peter Lilley said: “I would be sad to lose the town of Hitchin as I have represented it since 1997. It is bewildering how the boundary commission has come up with this. It’s disappointing if an MP risks losing part of an area.”

The commission wants to reduce the number of serving MPs in England from 650 to 600.

An eight-week consultation will take place until December 10 on the revised proposals.

Those wishing to have their say on the boundary changes can do so online at http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk

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