New parliamentary map proposed for Huntingdon and St Neots
- Credit: SNTC
The Huntingdon and St Neots political landscapes could be reshaped if proposals for boundary changes to most of the parliamentary constituencies in the East of England are approved.
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has submitted plans to reform the electoral map in England, which will be discussed under public consultation and, if agreed, are likely to be in-place in time for the next general election.
Across the East of England, the number of constituencies would rise from 58 to 61; however, the total amount of UK constituencies would remain at 650.
Under the plans, Huntingdon would lose St Neots to a new Cambridgeshire constituency, but it would gain Somersham, Warboys and Sawtry from the old North-West Cambridgeshire seat.
The new Cambridgeshire constituency, named St Neots, would be formed from parts of the old Huntingdon and South Cambridgeshire seats. Cambourne, Histon, Impington and Papworth Everard would also be included.
The St Neots seat would require a new Member of Parliament, as would two new constituencies in the Anglia region.
Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, Tim Bowden, who launched the campaign this week, said the aim is to make Parliament fairer by giving each MP a similar number of voters.
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He wants each constituency, by law, to comprise of between 69,724 and 77,062 eligible voters.
As of 2019, Huntingdon (84,657), South Cambridgeshire (87,288), South-East Cambridgeshire (86,769), North-West Cambridgeshire (94,909) and North-East Cambridgeshire (83,699) were all comfortably above the desired threshold.
Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, welcomed the proposals: “I’m very excited and positive about the change.
"For a long time, St Neots residents have complained about playing second-fiddle to Huntingdon, the fact our parliamentary constituency is called Huntingdon, so it’s an opportunity for us to have a bigger voice in electing our own MP and have an MP that represents our interests.
“It’s a fairly unusual geographic area, and one could argue that St Neots has less in common with places, like Bar Hill and Cambourne, then it does with Huntingdon or St Ives, but, on balance, I think it’s a positive change, and I’m looking forward to the era of political change that will result from it.”
The plans can be analysed and commented on at www.bcereviews.org.uk.
The first round of public consultation closes on August 2, 2021, with another two rounds to be carried out in 2022.