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Constituency Boundaries Unacceptable


28/10/16


The Lanarkshire Westminster constituency map is set for a shake-up under new boundary proposals.

Boundary Commission for Scotland plans unveiled last week have put forward a new Hamilton and Motherwell constituency with an electorate of 78,281 comprising parts of the existing Lanark and Hamilton East and Motherwell and Wishaw seats, whose incumbent SNP MPs are Angela Crawley and Marion Fellows.


Also proposed are five other seats: Airdrie South and Shotts (73,109 constituents); Clydesdale and Eskdale (75,090); Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Monklands East (74,961); East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (76,833); Monklands West (74,263); and Rutherglen and Hamilton West (76,341).

The proposals will see the amount of Scottish seats fall from 59 to 53 – with the overall UK constituency figure down from 650 to 600.


Both Ms Crawley and Ms Fellows said this they were focused on representing their constituents and described the proposals to cut the number of Scottish seats as “unacceptable”.

Ms Crawley said: “At a time when Scotland already faces a deep and growing democratic deficit, it is vital that the Scottish people have strong elected representation at Westminster to stand up for Scotland’s interests and to hold the UK government to account.

“It is outrageous and undemocratic that the UK Government is planning to cut the number of Scottish MPs while it continues to pack the unelected and unaccountable House of Lords.”

Ms Fellows pointed out that the House of Lords had grown to more than 800 members which “made a mockery” of government claims that the reduction in MPs was an attempt to cut the cost of politics.


Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale, and Tweeddale MP, and Scottish Secretary, David Mundell expressed regret at the proposed changes to his constituency’s boundaries, but nevertheless supported the proposals which he said would make Parliament “more efficient and cost-effective.”

The new Clydesdale and Eskdale seat – which would replace Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale – includes Lanark, Carluke, Forth and Carnwath, which are currently in the Lanark and Hamilton East constituency.

Mr Mundell said: “Obviously, I am very disappointed that it is proposed that the constituency I will have represented for 15 years by 2020 is going to be split five ways.

“I believe Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale has worked well and it has been an honour and privilege to be the local MP, but I also recognise changing boundaries are a complex matter and want to reflect on what the alternatives might be to what is proposed.”


The proposed new Hamilton and Motherwell constituency takes in Uddingston, Bothwell, Hamilton town centre, parts of central Motherwell, Ferniegair, Quarter, Larkhall, Wishaw and extends down to Auchenheath and Hazelbank.


The Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency held by the SNP’s Margaret Ferrier remains largely unchanged. However, Burnbank moves to the new Hamilton and Motherwell constituency while parts of Chantinghall go to Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The planned South Airdrie and Shotts constituency will comprise Forgewood, North Motherwell, Holytown and Chapelhall.


Consultation on the interim proposals will run until January 11. For more information and to submit your views go to: www.bcs2018.org.uk.