Duty done, comment on Boundary Commission review posted

The text, all neatly organised, of my comments on the review by the Boundary Commission for England of moving Windlesham into the Windsor parliamentary constituency is now entered into their consultation page.

Rather annoyingly all the bullet numbering and indentation of my text was lost when adding it into the Commission’s website. Key thing is, I’ve done it, and here’s proof. There’s still time [till end of today] if you’d like to comment also.

Keep Windlesham in Surrey Heath Parliamentary constituency

The Boundary Commission for England has issued a report on the Revised proposals for new constituency boundaries in the South East.

The recommendation is that the electoral ward of Windlesham should be moved from Surrey Heath parliamentary constituency to a Windsor constituency. See page 4 of the proposals.

Monday 11th December is the closing date for submissions on this proposal. If you consider this change illogical and unreasonable, then please visit  https://www.bce2018.org.uk/, enter your postcode, click on ‘Make a Comment’ and tell the Boundary Commission why Windlesham should stay in Surrey Heath.

I’ll be submitting my comments today. My arguments will be,

  • Fracturing the longstanding cultural and democratic links between Windlesham and it’s nearest neighbours in Surrey Heath will, over time, drive Windlesham residents to focus on the Windsor constituency and its parliamentary activities.
  • By way of example, here a some of the many cultural and logistical things that Windlesham shares with Lightwater, its nearest Surrey Heath neighbour,
    • church diocesan links and heritage
    • annual remembrance day services, where MP’s, would be misaligned to services
    • Lightwater’s large shopping parade
    • Lightwater’s GP practice serves Windlesham, and it’s a member of Surrey Heath Clinical Commissioning Group
    • Small shared cultural organisations, such as Windlesham Country Market who meet in Lightwater, who might want their MP it officiate at significant dates, may be confused as to which MP to invite.
  • The proposed change will create political representational confusion, where,
    • At Parish council level, Windlesham shares a Parish Council with Lightwater and Bagshot.
    • At Borough Council level, Windlesham ward is in Surrey Heath Borough Council
    • The Surrey County Council ward is Bagshot, Windlesham, and Chobham
    • The Parliamentary constituency is proposed to be Windsor – containing, Windsor & Maidenhead, a large unitary authority in Berkshire.
  • Local government services would continue to be provided by Surrey Heath. Therefore, Surrey Heath’s MP might not unreasonably be expected to be engaged in Windlesham affairs, as the Windsor MP would have for borough/unitary councils engage with, and Windlesham would be the smallest of the constituency wards.
  • Difficulty in travel from Windlesham to a Windsor MP’s constituency office.

Al things considered, moving Windlesham ward into Windsor is illogical, as it involves moving a Surrey County ward into a different county, that of Berkshire.

There’s little cultural or democratic synergy between the Windlesham and Windsor, while Surrey Heath is far closer culturally and democratically to Woking and Rushmoor boroughs. Time to rethink the proposal.

One suggestion might be to join all the military lands together by moving Brookwood, from Woking, into Surrey Heath, where there’s a natural barrier in the route of the Basingstoke Canal. Perhaps, with one of the Ash wards in Surrey Heath moving into into Guildford.

Proposals to move Windlesham ward in Parliamentary boundary changes

Surrey Heath Borough Council issued press release today announcing the latest proposals of the Boundary Commission for England [BCE]. Click on image to link to the BCE website.

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries as it opens its third and final consultation.

Parliamentary boundaries define the geographic area represented by each MP. Parliament has specified that the number of constituencies in the UK must reduce from the current 650 to 600. As a result the number of constituencies in England will decrease from 533 to 501.

The BCE is conducting the Review to ensure that the numbers of electors in each constituency are broadly equal.

The revised proposals for Surrey Heath involve moving Windlesham ward from the Surrey Heath constituency to the Windsor constituency. Residents are encouraged to submit their views to the BCE with a deadline of 11 December 2017.

The Commission will make its final report and recommendations in September 2018. Further information: www.bce2018.org.uk