On Tuesday 17th October the independent Boundary Commissions for England, Scotland and Wales announced their revised proposals for parliamentary constituencies. These proposals seek to ensure that parliamentary constituencies have a more equal size and have been drafted to ensure that no electorate is smaller than 71,031 and no larger than 78,507. In 2016 the largest constituency had an electorate of 108,600 and the smallest an electorate of 21,200.
The Boundary Commission has suggested substantial changes to the boundaries of seats in Worcestershire and the West Midlands. In the proposed changes, six of the existing 59 constituencies in the West Midlands will be retained and the current seat of Mid Worcestershire is one of the constituencies that will be split up. A new seat of Evesham is proposed which comprises 59% of the current seat of Mid Worcestershire.
Under these revised proposals, around 40% of the current Mid Worcestershire constituency will be moved into a new Bromsgrove and Droitwich seat, including Droitwich Spa and the neighbouring wards of Hartlebury, Ombersley, Lovett & North Claines and Dodderhill. The Norton & Whittington ward will be moved into the new, larger, Worcester constituency.
The new Evesham seat would gain all of the Wychavon District Council wards west of Evesham, as well as the southern Malvern Hills District Council wards including Upton upon Severn and up to (but not including) Great Malvern and the Herefordshire border.
The Boundary Commission is consulting on its proposals for an eight-week period, from 17 October to 11 December. This is the final opportunity for the public to contribute to the design of the new constituencies and information on how to respond is available at www.bce2018.org.uk.
Responding to the proposals, Mr Huddleston said: “In the three years that I have been serving Mid Worcestershire I have developed strong relationships across the breadth of the constituency and I would be delighted if it was possible for it to continue in its current form. However, I support the principle of fairer and more equal sized constituencies and recognise that this will inevitably involve some significant changes to constituency boundaries. The proposals are also subject to a parliamentary vote and there is no guarantee the proposed changes will go through. Whatever the outcome, I will continue to serve all my constituents equally right up to the next general election in May 2022.”