Plaid Cymru ‘confident of beating Tories’ under proposals to cut Welsh MPs to 32
Plaid Cymru says it is confident of beating the Tories despite Wales’ democratic voice being “unceremoniously slashed” under new proposals to cut the number of Wales’ MPs down from 40 to 32.
The Boundary Commission for Wales has published its Revised Proposals today (Wednesday 19 October).
The newly revised constituencies include changes to those previously published.
Notable changes include:
- Newport West and Caerphilly and Islwyn have had their boundaries changed to create a Newport West and Islwyn constituency
- Much of the previous Aberconwy constituency has been enlarged to include much of the previous Clwyd, leaving a coastal Clwyd North constituency
- All of Bangor is now included in a new Bangor and Aberconwy constituency
- The previously intended Delyn constituency extends downwards and becomes Clwwyd East, with Alyn and Deeside keeping its name but almost completely changing its boundaries
- St David’s has been taken out of the new Ceredigion-Preseli constituency, and Maenclochog included
A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said: “It is unacceptable that Wales is in a situation where our democratic voice is being unceremoniously slashed by 20% in the first place.
“We are nevertheless confident that we will be able to beat the Tories and return more Plaid Cymru MPs under these proposed boundaries.
“We are glad that thanks to Plaid Cymru’s representations in earlier stages of this process, Ynys Môn will be protected as a single constituency.
“The people of Ynys Môn can be confident that they will have a dedicated local MP in Rhun ap Iorwerth, who will unite communities having gained the trust of the people of the island over many years.
“Plaid Cymru councillors hold wards across the proposed Bangor-Aberconwy constituency – all the way from Bangor in the west to Efenechtyd in the east – representing the clearest choice for voters hoping to get rid of the Tories at the next general election.
“The decision by Westminster to reduce the number of constituencies so drastically has made this a difficult process for the Boundary Commission, and we thank them for their work.
“Lumping post-industrial communities like Cwm Tawe with rural areas like Brecon and Radnor makes no sense, and highlights the absurdity of the scale of the changes imposed by Westminster.”
Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales West Sioned Williams has called on The Boundary Commission for Wales to look again at the revised proposals published today which would see the Swansea Valley sharing an MP with Brecon and Radnorshire.
The changes have been made following a Westminster decision to reduce the number of Welsh MPs. The latest proposals would see the Swansea Valley part of a new “Brecon, Radnor and Cwm-tawe” seat which would stretch from Trebanos and Pontardawe to Rhayader and Presteigne.
Sioned Williams MS said: “It is unacceptable that Wales is in a situation where our democratic voice is being unceremoniously slashed by 20% and the changes proposed to the representation for the Swansea Valley is completely inacceptable.
“Lumping the post-industrial valley communities of Cwm Tawe with the distant rural areas like Brecon and Radnor makes absolutely no sense, and will make serving these communities effectively impossible.
“In forming its proposals The Boundary Commission was able to take into into account geographical considerations and barriers such as mountains, the “accessibility” of a constituency, local government boundaries as well as “local ties” that would be broken by changes and the “inconveniences” of changes. The proposals for the Swansea Valley fit all of these criteria and yet the representations pointing this out have been ignored.
“What’s being proposed is simply undemocratic. At this tumultuous time in politics and with the cost-of-living crisis hitting communities, it more vital than ever that people have faith in the political process and the system of democratic representation. I urge The Boundary Commission to reconsider this proposal and would ask all concerned fellow residents of the Swansea Valley to submit their objections.”
‘Vital Senedd reforms’
Commenting on the proposed boundary changes, a spokesperson for the Welsh Liberal Democrats said: “Although the consultation is set to continue for a little while longer, we are not expecting to see large changes between now and when the new boundaries are signed off by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
“While it remains unclear whether or not the new boundaries will be in place in time for the General Election, we are already putting in place mechanisms for our candidates to be selected to fight these new constituencies.
“Such large changes to the electoral map of Wales will invariably lead to challenges for all political parties, but they also provide the Welsh Liberal Democrats with some exciting opportunities.
“With the number of Welsh MPs now being reduced from 40 to 32, it is even more vital that proposed reforms to the Senedd go ahead and we will continue to push for more powers to be devolved to our Welsh Parliament to ensure that a reduction in our voice at Westminster does not lead to a reduction in focus on the issues important to the Welsh electorate.”
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