The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) will once again be asking the public to help shape plans to change Parliamentary constituency boundaries as it opens its second consultation on 28 February 2017.
Following a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is equal, BCE has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of English constituencies should be.
An initial 12-week consultation was held in the autumn last year, giving the public the first chance to view and comment on BCE’s plans. Almost 20,000 responses were received, which will now be published as part of the second consultation.
Between 28 February and 27 March 2017, you will be able to go to BCE’s website, www.bce2018.org.uk, to view and comment on these submissions. You had the chance to tell BCE what you thought about their proposals in the first consultation - this is now your opportunity to tell BCE what you think about other suggestions made during that consultation. You can support counter-proposals, highlight issues with alternative ideas and say where you think the BCE’s original proposals are still the best solution.
Sam Hartley, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Public input is invaluable throughout the 2018 Boundary Review. Comments made during both consultations will help us develop a well-rounded picture of how local communities live and work together across the country. This local knowledge will be essential when we revise our proposals. Any changes will be based on your comments so it’s important to have your say.”
Following the second consultation, the BCE’s assistant commissioners will look through all comments received during both consultations, considering all the evidence submitted. They will then advise the Commission on where they think the proposals should be revised.
Revised proposals will be published as part of a final consultation in late 2017/early 2018 and any further changes made based on comments received. BCE must report to Parliament with its final recommendation in September 2018. If agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.