Your chance to find out more about new constituency boundary proposals
Release date: 10 October 2016
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is currently conducting a national public consultation to gather views on proposed changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries.
This follows a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, ensuring that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal. The BCE has been asked to make independent recommendations about the boundaries of English constituencies and will report its findings to Parliament in 2018. If agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use from the next scheduled General Election in 2020.
The current parliamentary constituency known as ‘The Cotswolds’ encompasses the area served by Cotswold District Council plus the wards of Kingswood, Minchinhampton and Wotton-under-Edge within Stroud District Council. The proposed new constituency - also called ‘The Cotswolds’ -would comprise 75,000 electors in the same Cotswold District Council area plus the wards of Minchinhampton and Nailsworth within Stroud District Council.
To assist with this consultation, the BCE is planning a series of 36 public hearings across the country. Assistant Commissioners from the BCE will be in attendance at each event to listen to views and field questions. The public will be invited to speak on any aspect of the proposals, such as the location of boundaries and the suitability of the constituency’s name.
From a Cotswold perspective, the nearest public hearing venues are as follows:
Oxford – Council Chambers, Oxford Town Hall, St. Aldates 24-25 October
Birmingham - Council Chambers, Council House, Victoria Square 3-4 November
Bristol - Council Chambers, City Hall, College Green 17-18 November
The full list of venues is available online.
The BCE recommends that those who want to speak at a public hearing should book a slot to make sure they have the opportunity to have their say - public hearings tend to get busy and they cannot guarantee attendees will have a chance to speak if they haven't made a booking. All bookings can be made online.
With the exception of videographers engaged by the BCE, all public hearing attendees should not film or record the proceedings of public hearings. Many attendees will not be used to public speaking and the BCE feels that they will not want the added pressure of being filmed or recorded unofficially.
For those interested in watching the public hearings at a later date, BCE is required by law to make video recordings and will then publish them on the Commission’s YouTube account. All participants making a representation will be informed of this requirement prior to the public hearings and will have the option of deciding not to speak if they do not wish to be filmed.