Wrekin constituency name change plans should be dropped - MP

Officials must show they have listened to public feeling by dropping plans to change the historic name of The Wrekin constituency, says its MP.

The Wrekin – which gives the constituency its name
The Wrekin – which gives the constituency its name

Mark Pritchard, the Conservative MP for the Wrekin, has called on the Boundary Commission to abandon the proposals to change the name of the parliamentary constituency.

The commission announced last year that it wanted the constituency to become known as Newport and Wellington.

The public were asked for their opinions on the proposal earlier this year, through written consultations, as well as hearings on the matter.

The commission is expected to publish its revised proposals in the autumn, before a final report next year.

Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard said he wants the Boundary Commission to listen over objections to constituency name change

Mr Pritchard, said the Boundary Commission for England needs to show that its consultation exercise “was a genuine public consultation and not a going through the motions” ahead of the confirmation of revised plans.

Earlier this year the MP, who has represented The Wrekin since 2005, wrote to town and parish councils in the constituency asking them to back his call to retain 'The Wrekin' name.

Mr Pritchard argued that The Wrekin name is "unique, internationally recognised, iconic in English prose and literature, and reflects the borough and county parts of the constituency".

He also pointed out the unique nature of the name – taken from the local landmark – by highlighting that there are more than a dozen Newports and at least another three Wellingtons in the United Kingdom already.

He said: "I am grateful to all those constituents and councils who have supported me in seeking to keep The Wrekin’s historical name. I hope the Boundary Commission will listen to the overwhelming public support to retain the name."

The Wrekin has had the same name since the constituency was created in 1918.

As well as the name change the proposals would see The Wrekin lose Hadley, and gain Hodnet and Cheswardine from the North Shropshire constituency. It would include the Clive Barracks at Tern Hill, which falls just on the Wellington and Newport side of the new border.

Speaking earlier this year Mr Pritchard said: "The Wrekin has been a parliamentary constituency from more than 100 years and sums up the area perfectly.

"It conjures up 'All Friends Around the Wrekin', whereas Wellington and Newport simply highlights two very different areas, while excluding all the other areas. Also those two towns are both in Telford, whereas Albrighton and Shifnal are in Shropshire."

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