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Final consultation on review of parliamentary constituency boundaries opens

Palace of Westminster from across the Thames

IN 2016 the Boundary Commissions began a review of parliamentary constituency areas as part of a remit from Government to reduce the number of MPs across the UK from 650 to 600.

This means the number of constituencies in England will be reduced by 32, from 533 to 501.

The Boundary Commission for England first published its proposals for how parliamentary boundaries could change in September 2016, which was followed by an in-depth consultation period with two phases.

The Commission has now published its revised proposals and opened them up to a final consultation period which ends on December 11, 2017. It will then report to Parliament in September 2018. Revised proposals take account of all written comments received during the previous two consultations and all oral comments made at public hearings.

In Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, it is proposed that the number of constituencies will reduce from 12 to 11.

Changes have been suggested to the existing Tamworth and Lichfield constituencies to realign ward and constituency boundaries following changes to ward boundaries in Lichfield and to increase the overall size of the Tamworth electorate.

Currently the two wards of Hammerwich with Wall and Whittington & Streethay are split between Lichfield and Tamworth, but with most of the electorate in Lichfield. The proposals are to include the Whittington & Streethay ward wholly in the Tamworth constituency and to include the Hammerwich with Wall ward wholly in the Lichfield constituency.

In essence this means Tamworth would lose a small section of the Hammerwich with Wall ward, while gaining electors overall from the Whittington & Streethay ward.

In its report, the Commission notes that this would make for a better boundary between the two constituencies.

Members of the public are being encouraged to view and comment on the proposals which are detailed in full online at www.bce2018.org.uk including maps of the existing and proposed constituency boundaries.

Paper copies of the plans and associated documents are also available to view in the reception of Tamworth Borough Council at Marmion House in Lichfield Street.

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