Boundary Commission releases draft proposals for constituency border changes

Victorial Prentis MP is facing changes to her constituency boundaries. NNL-151015-144539001
Victorial Prentis MP is facing changes to her constituency boundaries. NNL-151015-144539001

Constituencies in the Banbury Guardian area could see some changes after the Boundary Commission released its draft proposals for the redrawing of constituency boundaries.

The aim of the proposals is to reduce the number of MPs in the House of Commons and create equal size seats.

Most constituencies in the county are affected by the proposals.

The number of MPs will be cut from 533 to 501 in England.

In Oxfordshire, the Boundary Commission is proposing no changes to the number of constituencies. There are currently six.

No change is proposed to Witney, former prime minister David Cameron’s former constituency.

The Banbury constituency, according to the report, is too big with more than five per cent of the electoral quota.

To address this, the three wards of Fringford, Launton, Ambrosden and Chesterton will now become part of the renamed Henley and Thame constituency.

This means Henley and Thame will extend further north than it currently does, up to, but not including, Bicester.

The commission also plans to rename the Banbury constituency Banbury and Bicester to reflect the name of its two largest towns.

Northampton South constituency will be extended to include two wards from the South Northamptonshire constituency: Hackleton, and Brafield and Yardley.

The South Northamptonshire constituency will now include the wards of Weedon, Woodford, Heyfords and Bugbrooke, and Harpole and Grange from the existing Daventry constituency.

The Boundary Commission is holding a public consultation and will be hosting hearings around the country during the public consultation period.

A hearing for the south-east will be held at Oxford Town Hall, on October 24 and 25.

Another hearing will be held in Northampton, on October 31 and November 1, at the council offices at The Guildhall.

Commenting on the boundary changes, Sean Woodcock, Cherwell District councillor for the Banbury Ruscote ward said the new boundaries did not take into account the upsurge in votes ahead of the EU referendum.

He said: “I have no objection to boundaries being looked at to try to make constituencies more equal in size.

“The problem I have is with how this is being done. Clearly there was an upsurge in voter registration ahead of the EU referendum and these boundaries do not take that into account.

“And I have a real problem with reducing the number of elected MPs while doing nothing to reduce the size of the overcrowded and inflated but also unelected House of Lords.”

The consultation runs until December 5. Views can be submitted through the website www.bce2018.org.uk.

To register to attend the public hearings, visit the website or telephone 020 7276 1102.