THE BOUNDARY REVIEW of Parliamentary constituencies announced yesterday has provoked strong reactions, particularly from MP Graham Stuart and local South West Holderness Councillors.
Graham Stuart MP has been quick of the mark to say that he will fight the proposals. The constituency of Beverley and Holderness that he currently represents in Parliament will be absorbed into three constituencies. South West Holderness Ward, currently in Beverley and Holderness, would be included in the Kingston Upon Hull East county constituency. The ward would remain served by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council as the proposals only concern Parliamentary constituencies and not local authority boundaries.
The Boundary Commission for England proposals, published yesterday, aim to achieve 650 constituencies across the UK that have at least 69,724 voters in each. Currently, existing constituencies range from having just 54,551 electors to as many as 111,716. All three existing Hull constituencies fall below the new permitted electoral range, which has resulted in proposals where Hull East would absorb the market town of Hedon, as well as Preston and Thorngumbald. Similarly, the changes to Hull West & Hessle would see it include South Hunsley and Tranby. The rest of the existing Beverley and Holderness constituency would be split in two, with all coastal wards becoming part of a new Bridlington and Holderness constituency including the towns of Skipsea, Hornsea and Withernsea. At the same time, Beverley council wards would join Driffield, Wolds Weighton and Pocklington to form Beverley and the Wolds.
“Their suggestions show a lack of understanding about the communities that I represent, which is why I will be strongly opposing these plans throughout the review process.
“The proposed absorption of South West Holderness to become part of Hull East is an especially poor suggestion, completely ignoring that the people of Hedon, Paull, Preston and Thorngumbald do not consider themselves to be a part of Hull, and indeed have been resisting creeping urbanisation of their green spaces for years now. Their proposals seem to be based solely on the fact that the A1033 runs between Hedon and Hull, which just goes to show that the wider picture hasn’t really been considered.
“It’s important to note that these initial proposals are just the first step in a long review process, so I’d strongly encourage anyone who feels the same way I do, to make their views known to the Boundary Commission.”Graham Stuart MP
Meanwhile, in a joint statement, South West Holderness Councillors John Dennis, Sue Steel and David Winter have expressed their opposition to the proposals. They are seeking an early meeting with Graham Stuart MP on the matter. They fear the prospect of the area being absorbed into an expanded greater Hull, and question the ability of an urban-based MP to effectively represent a massive and mainly rural area:
“Like our MP, Graham Stuart, we are very much against the idea of the City of Hull becoming almost doubled in size at our expense. The issue is, what happens if this change is allowed? It’s about Parliamentary constituency expansion right now. We all know, however, that the City of Hull has had its sights set on our Ward for decades. Will taking over our country area be next on their agenda? We’re country and not city dwellers, and that’s for a reason. Surely with recent events, our opinion hasn’t changed. The boundary referendum of 2014 made the point strongly enough for anybody to know what our combined opinion was back then. 50,000 or more voted and 96.5% said ‘No’ to becoming a part of an expanded City of Hull.
“The idea of the East Riding Ward of South West Holderness being represented by a purely ‘urban’ MP is definitely a backward step. What sort of service will we get? Knowledge of our rural area by the East Hull MP will be limited to say the least. Won’t he/she also be severely restricted as to the time available to commit to our local issues?
“We should be concerned that:
(a) a city MP will have had no experience of the sort of problems with which we contend, especially with the massive expansion of industry to our area
(b) he/she surely will have enough on his/her plate with all the ‘inner-city’ matters he/she already has to handle, let alone our problems
(c) he/she will have difficulty finding time to even visit our area regularly, even though SWH is much larger than his/her existing constituency.
“At least we get to see and speak with our incumbent MP at numerous street surgeries.
“Online comments are being sought right now and spoken representation comes along later. Please respond to the Boundary Review and let your opinion be known.”Joint statement Cllrs. John Dennis, Sue Steel and David Winter
Take part in the consultation!
This is a consultation period and everything is up for discussion, including gaining support for other options. For example, there is a suggestion from sources within Holderness, that rather than linking Beverley with The Wolds, it should be linked with Hull North (Hull North & Beverley). The Hull East constituency could then soak up population numbers from the east and north-east of that constituency rather than South West Holderness. The point is, that rather than be cynical about it, residents should engage with the consultation and consider new ideas as well as those formally presented.
Following the initial consultation period ending on Monday 2 August 2021, the Boundary Commission will then publish all the responses it received ahead of a second 6-week consultation, which is currently scheduled for early next year. This stage will also include a series of public hearings, where residents will be able to give their views directly to an assistant commissioner.
Any changes made following these consultations will be published around September 2022, while the Boundary Commission’s final recommendations by law must be given to Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle by 1st July 2023.
If you or your organisation, group, political party, etc., has a Boundary Review viewpoint, then email us with these. We will feature regular updates on all three stages of the consultation.
To look at the proposals and have your say in the consultation, visit the links below.
The local map for the proposed Yorkshire and Humberside area: Y&H BCE Consultation Portal