MPs could lose out in boundary change

MP for Milton Keynes South Iain Stewart
MP for Milton Keynes South Iain Stewart
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BLETCHLEY could lose some of its community identity if the proposed boundary changes are passed.

That is the concern of Councillor Tony Mabbott, who serves the Poets Estate in Bletchley.

The proposals to change constituency boundaries could see Bletchley split in two with half falling under the constituency of Buckingham.

Tony said: “I have no problem in principal with the proposals. But my concern is that the town needs to retain its community identity.

“The people of Bletchley as a whole have shared issues. They share services including firefighters, police officers and the leisure centre.

“Local people need to be heavily involved in the consulting period, that is the key.”

The Boundary Commission for England is the independent public body that reviews all Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.

They are the body that is currently conducting the 2013 Review and they are calling for as many people as possible to share their views on the initial proposals. The consultation will be open until December 5.

The idea of the proposals is to reduce the number of MPs sitting in Parliament from 650 to 600.

MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart is the city MP who may be affected in the changes as Bletchley falls into his constituency.

He said: “Population growth has meant the electorate of both current Milton Keynes seats are too high. These are only initial proposals to have the correct number of voters in each seat.”

“There are other possible options and I shall be consulting the affected communities to see which is the best one.”

Another concern highlighted by Cllr Mabbott was how thinly spread the MPs may be if they are asked to look after more constituents.

He said: “If you reduce the number of MPs serving an area then how will their services be readily available for so many people?

“I think the consultation period is not long enough and the whole thing has been done with undue haste.

“However, there is some logic to it with Newton Longville so close to Bletchley as well as developments like Salden Chase so I can see that there are links between Bletchley and Buckingham.”

A public hearing will be held in Milton Keynes at the Civic Offices on October 24 between 11am and 8pm.

People are also invited to a second day of public hearings the following day between 9am and 5pm.

There people will be able to see the plans and have their say.