Constituency boundary shake-up for Shropshire's Welsh borderlands

The Parliamentary map on the Shropshire/Welsh border could be completely redrawn in time for the next general election.

Simon Baines
Simon Baines

An eight-week consultation has been launched by the Boundary Commission for Wales on how constituency boundaries could be changed to allow for plans to reduce the number of Welsh MPs by eight from 40 to 32.

The Clwyd South constituency that includes Chirk, Llangollen and the countryside around Wrexham, could be carved up between a larger and renamed Montgomery and Glyndwr constituency and the current Wrexham constituency.

It would be part of an overhaul that would represent the "most significant change to Wales's constituencies in a century", the Commission has said.

The new constituencies are due to come into force at the next general election.

If it goes ahead the new Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr would be between 2,000 and 3,000 sq km, while neighbouring Brecon and Radnor would be over 3,000 sq km.

Members of public are now being encouraged to set out whether they support or oppose the proposals.

The Commission said that, if adopted, they would "result in a Parliamentary map of Wales very different from the one we are familiar with".

The rurality of the area and its relatively small population is the reason that a seat could be lost.

Craig Williams

Under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended), each nation and region of the UK is given a share of 650 MPs based on the number of registered electors.

It also says that each constituency must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 voters, 5 per either way of the UK average.

Boundary changes are also taking place in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in order to reflect population changes across the UK.

One exception would be Anglesey which would remain as it is at the moment.

The new proposals and consultation portal will be available on the Boundary Commission for Wales website, bcw-reviews.org.uk, from midnight on September 8.

The consultation period will close on November 3.

Simon Baynes, the current Clwyd South MP, said: “Everyone is agreed that the Parliamentary boundaries need reviewing in Wales and I echo the words of the Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Party, Glyn Davies, who said: “This is very much the start of the process, not the end of it. We will now take time to consider what are initial proposals, before deciding what representations to make.”

Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams said: “I have had a chance to look over the initial proposals for the new boundaries from the Welsh Boundary Commission. I welcome that the Commission has proposed to keep Montgomeryshire together with Llangollen, Chirk and Ruabon being added to the new constituency of ‘Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr’.

“Of course, it is important to stress that this is very much the start of the process, and people can now respond to the Commission’s proposals and suggest alternative proposals. I encourage those who have a view on the matter to get in touch with the Commission to express their thoughts on the new proposals.”

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