Government to decide on name change for constituency and include the town of St Neots

The Boundary Commission

The Boundary Commission - Credit: Archant

Plans to rename the Huntingdon parliamentary constituency and add ‘St Neots’ to the title have been put before the government.

The Boundary Commission for England has submitted its final report on new constituency boundaries to the government and this includes a recommendation to rename the electoral ward Huntingdon and St Neots.

The parliamentary map has also been redrawn in an effort to lose one constituency in the eastern region and ensure the number of people in each one contains between 71,031 and 78,507 electors.

Boundary Commission secretary Sam Hartley, said: “We are confident that the new map of constituencies best reflects the rules set for us by parliament and we’re especially pleased that our recommendations are based heavily on what members of the public have told us about their local areas.”

Consultations for the review began in 2016 and the commission received “a large number of representations” from people who wanted to see St Neots given recognition as the largest town in Huntingdonshire.

Among those who responded to the consultation was St Neots mayor, Cllr Barry Chapman, who said it was “absurd” to simply continue calling the constituency Huntingdon.

Cllr Chapman called for the seat to be renamed St Neots and Huntingdon, in recognition of the former’s larger population.

Most Read

In response, the commission acknowledged the strength of feeling around the issue and proposed to rename the seat, which is held by Jonathan Djanogly, Huntingdon and St Neots.

“Like many St Neots residents, I welcome inclusion of the St Neots name in that of our parliamentary constituency.

“It is two years since I proposed this in evidence at the parliamentary inquiry, but it has been much longer that St Neots has been denied recognition as Cambridgeshire’s largest town. It is a small recognition and just one of many needed as the town continues to grow.”

Responding to the proposal in 2016, Mr Djanogly said he welcomed “the sensible proposal to rename the Huntingdon constituency”.

In a significant shakeup for the area, The Offords, Great Paxton, Abbotsley, Waresley, Toseland, Yelling, and Great Gransden could also move from Mr Djanogly’s constituency and pass to the South Cambridgeshire constituency. All the changes need to be in place for the 2020 election.