Should St Neots have its own parliamentary constituency?

St Neots

St Neots - Credit: Archant

A St Neots town councillor has launched a campaign to see the town have its own parliamentary constituency.

Currently, St Neots comes under the Huntingdon constituency, but a 12-week consultation on proposed boundary changes means residents now have the chance to put forward suggestions about how the county map should be redrawn.

Parliament wants to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK from 600 to 650 and will reconfigure some boundary lines to ensure the number of electors in each constituency is more equal.

The Boundary Commission for England has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of English constituencies should be, and must report to Parliament in 2018 in time to have any changes in place by the 2020 General Election.

Deputy mayor of St Neots, Councillor Barry Chapman, said: “St Neots is Cambridgeshire’s largest town and it both confuses, alienates and frankly mystifies the St Neots’ electorate that the constituency has the name of the smaller town of Huntingdon.

“St Neots has the highest percent-age rate of population growth in the UK with a population which, on current projections, will shortly exceed half of the entire residents in the constituency.

“The last review, which was abandoned, recognised the inappropriate name of the constituency.

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“It would be absurd to continue using Huntingdon as the constituency name. The constituency should be renamed St Neots or at an absolute minimum, St Neots and Huntingdon.”

Publication of the initial proposals are available on the boundary commission’s website and only 68 of the existing 533 English constituencies remain unchanged.

‘The proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like,” said Sam Hartley, secretary for the commission.

“But they are just the commission’s initial thoughts and during the next 12 weeks we want people to take a look and tell us what they like and don’t like about our proposals.”

The Hunts Post contacted Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly who said: “It is right that we are reducing the number of constituencies by 50 and equalising the number of constituents.”

Mr Djanogly said he preferred not to comment on the suggestion that St Neots should have its own constituency.