South Cambs boundary changes: More villages could go to new Letchworth and Royston constituency

PUBLISHED: 08:50 20 October 2017

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald and his South Cambs counterpart Heidi Allen. Picture: Archant

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald and his South Cambs counterpart Heidi Allen. Picture: Archant

Archant

Proposals which would see several South Cambs villages move to a new Letchworth and Royston parliamentary constituency are now under consultation for the last time.

The changes follow a decision by the government to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK from 650 to 600, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is equal.

An initial 12-week consultation by the Boundary Commission for England was held in autumn last year.

In the second round earlier this year, Bassingbourn, Melbourn, The Mordens, Shingay, Wendy, Whaddon, Abington Pigotts and Tadlow – all in MP Heidi Allen’s South Cambs constituency – were possible movers to Sir Oliver Heald’s North East Herts constituency.

The third consultation opened on Tuesday, with Meldreth and Shepreth added to the list for the neighbouring constituency – which would be renamed Letchworth and Royston.

The villages north, including Foxton and Barrington, would remain in the South Cambs constituency.

Sir Oliver told the Crow: “Although I would never wish away any part of my existing constituency, I can see the logic of the proposals, which include the villages around Royston to the north as part of the new constituency.

“We already share your newspaper, GPs, educational and hospital services – and many residents of the South Cambridgeshire villages are familiar with Royston as the local market town, their workplace, the nearest supermarket and rail station.

“Equally, many Royston residents know the South Cambridgeshire villages very well. I think the plans are workable.”

Boundary Commission for England secretary Sam Hartley said: “Based on what people have said to us, we have revised more than half of our initial proposals. The new map of the country is, we think, close to the best set of Parliamentary constituencies we can achieve, based on the rules to which we work and the evidence given to us by local citizens.

“But we still want people to tell us what they think of this latest map before we make our final recommendations next year. It’s so important to have your say.”

People have until December 11 to have their say at www.bce2018.org.uk. Following this consultation, commissioners will consider all the evidence submitted throughout the process.

They will then decide on their final recommendations before submitting them to parliament in September 2018.

The Crow has contacted Mrs Allen for comment and is awaiting a response.

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