Parliamentary boundary review: two blog posts worth reading

Since blogging about the British Academy study into how the new rules going through Parliament for drawing up constituency boundaries might work, I’ve spotted a couple of particularly good blog posts on the subject from Lib Dem colleagues.

Former Kingston councillor (and one of the Liberal Democrat online pioneers) Mary Reid has blogged about some of the bizarre politics around the legislation [link now defunct] whilst Cornwall councillor Alex Folkes (and one of the best blogging local councillors) has written about his concerns on how the new rules may work.

Having a Parliamentary constituency which extends out of Cornwall into Plymouth / Devon is, along with the Isle of Wight (which is too big for 1 seat and too small for 2 seats), likely to be one of the most heated issues in the next boundary review. Crossing the Tamar (pictured), or not, is going to be much debated.

I think Alex is unduly concerned about how the rules will work out elsewhere in the country, though, judging from the modelling of possible new boundaries that I’ve been looking at.

It will also be in the interests of the Boundary Commission for England to avoid the scenario he talks about where one change at one end of the country has ripple effects all through England. That is because the Commission will need to partition the country into smaller chunks so that they can consider the boundaries for each of them in parallel and hence be able to meet the legal deadlines for their work.

Even without this ripple problem, issues such as the Tamar will give us all plenty to debate – and highlight the importance of good communication within the Liberal Democrats to ensure that neighbours do not end up arguing for contradictory positions.

(By the way, if you’ve spotted any other blog posts on this topic that I may have missed, do pop a note in the comments below.)

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