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News Archive > General > ‘Devonwall’ boundary seat still looking to be created

‘Devonwall’ boundary seat still looking to be created

By Natasha Swift 18th October 2017

‘Devonwall’ boundary seat still looking to be created

THE CHINA Clay District around St Austell will remain united under the revised boundary proposals but the unpopular “Devonwall” seat still looks set to be created under the shake up.

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) published its revised proposals for new constituency boundaries yesterday.

The BCE has been tasked with reducing the number of constituencies in England from 533 to 501.

The South West has been allocated 53 constituencies, which is a reduction of two from the current number.

Last year the draft report caused outrage over its recommendation for a cross-Tamar “Bideford, Bude and Launceston” seat.  

Despite a barrage of opposition to the idea, which was labelled as a “travesty of history, democracy and Cornwall’s very nationhood”, the BCE said it had been left with no choice but to recommend the creation of the cross-county constituency.

The revised BCE proposals said: “There was support for our proposed constituencies, but also many objections to the creation of a so-called ‘Devonwall’ cross-county constituency.

“Many of those who objected... did not submit a counter‑proposal to create five constituencies wholly within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, each with an electorate within the permitted electorate range.

“It was argued that Cornwall was a separate entity to the rest of England and should be treated in the same way as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in terms of the review.

“Our assistant commissioners were sympathetic to the arguments against a cross-county constituency between Cornwall and Devon, but accepted that the statutory rules left them with no choice but to recommend such a constituency.”

Dick Cole, leader of Mebyon Kernow - the Party for Cornwall - has fought against the proposal.

He called on the Prime Minister yesterday to scrap the Boundary Review that would lead to the creation of the cross-Tamar constituency.

He said: “As someone who has campaigned against the imposition of a ‘Devonwall’ parliamentary constituency for a number of years, I was pleased to see numerous recent newspaper reports that the Conservatives intended to scrap the boundary review.

“But I am perplexed that Theresa May’s Government is allowing the review to continue - especially as they no longer have a majority in the House of Commons and the recommendations of the Boundary Commission will almost certainly not be supported by opposition MPs.

“Senior Conservatives have already admitted that their attempt to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 is doomed to failure, and I call on Theresa May to end this farce of a Boundary Review and think again.

“We will certainly be continuing with our campaigns to protect the territorial integrity of Cornwall.”

Under the proposed changes the current Newquay and St Austell constituency will be split with St Austell forming a new seat with Bodmin.

There had been concerns that the clay area would be divided after previous boundary proposals suggested creating a Truro and St Austell seat and a Newquay and Bodmin constituency.

This would have affected the St Stephen-in-Brannel parish the most as it would have fallen outside of the St Austell constituency.

The BCE said Cornwall councillor for Bethel, Malcolm Brown, had raised concerns that the China Clay District around St Austell would have been divided and suggested that as much of this area should be in the same constituency as St Austell as possible.

He proposed that the St Stephen-In-Brannel ward be included in the Bodmin and St Austell constituency.

The new proposals will keep the majority of the area united.

There will now be a consultation until December 11 giving residents the chance to have their say on the proposals. The BCE will make its recommendations in September 2018.

By Natasha Swift 18th October 2017

frederick edwards 21st October 2017 15:14
We need to get out in force and dig up the last part of our connection with England a bit sharpish then don´t we.
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