Councillors call for a rethink on major changes to parliamentary constituencies that would split district

The proposed Daventry and Lutterworth constituency outlined in red

The proposed Daventry and Lutterworth constituency outlined in red

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Councillors in Daventry district have called for a rethink on plans to radically alter the area’s parliamentary constituencies.

Daventry District Council (DDC) has called on the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) to revise its proposals which would see the district split between two different MPs.

The Commission has proposed a new cross-county ‘Daventry and Lutterworth’ constituency – combining some, but not all, wards in Daventry district together with parts of south Leicestershire and Wellingborough.

Villages to the south of Daventry, in the Woodford and Weedon wards and including places like Staverton and Badby, would be moved into the South Northamptonshire constituency under the proposals, which are part of a national review of parliamentary boundaries.

The existing Daventry constituency, represented by Chris Heaton-Harris MP includes all of Daventry district, together with two wards from each of the Wellingborough and South Northamptonshire Council areas.

The changes are being proposed after the commission was charged by the Government to reduce the number of MPs across the whole country from 650 to 600, and alter seats so that each MP represented a similar number of voters.

DDC’s Strategy Group agreed on Thursday, November 24, to call on the Boundary Commission for England to maintain that arrangement, in order to ensure the whole of Daventry district continues to be represented by one MP.

Cllr Chris Millar, leader of Daventry District Council, said: “We are keen to ensure that the whole of Daventry district is represented by one MP, helping the council and its residents to have a single point of influence on national policy in order to help us achieve local aims.

“These proposals would put the towns of Daventry and Lutterworth, which share no historical, economic, transport or cultural links, together in the same constituency while severing a significant part of Daventry district.

“This would not only see residents in Weedon and Woodford Wards breaking ties with the rest of Daventry district in respect of their parliamentary representation, but would also result in 15,000 people from south Leicestershire forced into a largely Northamptonshire constituency.

“While we appreciate the Boundary Commission has a requirement to reduce the number of constituencies in the East Midlands from 46 to 44, these proposals would harm people in both the Daventry district and south Leicestershire areas, and this council calls on the commission to consider the viable alternative we have put forward.”

Residents can find out more about the proposals and have their say at www.bce2018.org.uk. The current consultation closes on December 5 2016 and there will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2017.

Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the BCE will look at all the evidence received and make final recommendations to Parliament in September 2018.

If agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.