Boundary Commission to publish initial proposals for axing Welsh MPs
The Boundary Commission for Wales is set to publish its initial proposals for cutting the number of Welsh MPs.
It will reveal its plan for the new map of Parliamentary constituencies on 8 September, which follows confirmation earlier this year that Wales is to see a reduction from the current 40 constituencies to 32.
The new constituencies are due to come into force at the next general election.
Boundary reviews are also taking place in other parts of the UK. The number of MPs in England is set to increase by 10 to 543 , in Scotland it is set to be reduced by two to 57, while in Northern Ireland the number will remain the same at 18.
Pro-independence group YesCymru said previously that the change meant that Wales would have less of a voice at Westminster.
“And so Wales’ voice in Westminster is diminished to the point of inconsequence,” they said.
“The lie that there’s any form of parity amongst the Nations of these islands is finally put to bed.”
Plaid Cymru has said that “Wales will lose out more than any other nation in the UK as a result of this law – with our voice and representation diminished. Westminster just isn’t working for Wales.”
As well as publishing its proposals, the Commission will open an 8-week consultation period where the public can share their views on the proposed constituencies.
Under rules set out in the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 each constituency proposed by the Boundary Commission for Wales must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors, with the exception of Ynys Môn, which is a protected constituency.
The Commission says it has considered several factors in developing its proposals, as well as the statutory range of electors.
It says geography such as lakes, rivers, and mountains has been an important consideration, as has current boundaries such as local authority and ward boundaries.
The Commission says it has also considered local ties, such as shared history and culture as it developed its initial proposals.
Secretary to the Boundary Commission for Wales, Shereen Williams MBE OStJ said, “We’re looking forward to publishing our initial proposals and receiving the public’s views on them.
“We will be proposing significant changes due to the reduction in the number of Welsh constituencies and that means that we’ll be relying on the public, who know their local area better than anyone, to send in their views.
“Our initial proposals will be the start of a conversation with the public about how the new map of Welsh constituencies should look. We want to build this map together, and we know that with your expertise, we can develop a map that meets the conditions set out in the Act, but also meets the expectations of the people of Wales.”
The proposals will be published on the Boundary Commission for Wales website and consultation portal at midnight on 8 September. The consultation will open immediately upon the publication of the initial proposals and will close on 3 November.