FINAL recommendations for new parliamentary boundaries that could see the number of MPs cut from 650 to 600 have been published today (Monday).
As well as reducing the number of seats, the review aims to make constituencies more equal in size, in terms of their total number of voters – between 71,031 and 78,507.
The review was conducted by the Boundary Commission for England, which is an independent and impartial advisory public body, which reviews the boundaries of Parliamentary constituencies in England.
The final recommendations are that Streethay and Whittington will be transferred to Tamworth and Lichfield will gain Hixon and the Haywoods.
The changes to the Lichfield and Tamworth boundaries will only happen at the next General Election and only if Parliament approves them.
Lichfield MP, Michael Fabricant has told Tamworth Informed: “The proposed new boundary for the Lichfield constituency looks as if Tamworth has launched the Battle of the Bulge against Lichfield and won. Lichfield is sliced in two with its eastern half cut off despite protests from constituents and from me. The Boundary Commissioners have behaved in an arrogant manner paying no regard to the social or educational arguments presented to them by residents. Their own argument has been weak intellectually and I am disappointed with them.
“So, if this legislation goes through, the London-bound platform of Lichfield Trent Valley station will be in Tamworth with the North-bound platform remaining in Lichfield with the boundary running up the middle of the 4 tracks. Parts of Curborough and all of Whittington and Streethay will be in Tamworth despite their children going to Lichfield schools, receiving Lichfield newspapers, and all the ancient roads leading to Lichfield not Tamworth. In short, all their ties are with Lichfield. The Commission has made fools of themselves. Alternative plans which would have also met the Commission’s legal requirements had been offered but ignored” Michael adds.
About the Boundary Commission for England
The Chair of the Commission is the Speaker of the House of Commons, but by convention, he or she does not participate in the conduct of the review or formulation of the Commission’s recommendations.
The Deputy Chair, therefore, leads the Commission in the conduct of the review. The Deputy Chair must be a serving Judge of the High Court, and is selected and appointed by the Lord Chancellor.
The Deputy Chair is currently Mr Justice (Andrew) Nicol and he is supported by two other Commissioners, whose appointments are made following an open public appointments selection process. The two Commissioners are David Elvin QC and Neil Pringle.