Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has described the publication of proposed parliamentary boundary changes by the independent Boundary Commission as “essential to democracy” in the UK. The final recommendations, released on Monday (10/09/18), aim to even the size of constituencies and take into account significant changes in demographics, house-building and migration. It will also reduce the overall number of MPs from 650 to 600. The proposed changes require parliamentary consent and would be in place for the next General Election scheduled for May 2022, providing they pass through the Commons. 

    Mr Stride said: 

    “Parliamentary constituencies are now two decades old and vary hugely in terms of population. In England the smallest constituency has less than 56,000 voters while the largest has more than 110,000. In Scotland the smallest has less than 22,000 and the largest more than 86,000 and in Wales the smallest is less than 41,000 and the largest more than 76,000. We are not just talking about one or two outliers, but huge numbers of constituencies which are 30-40% bigger than others. In any democracy it is important that everyone’s vote carries equal weight and these changes will help rectify this.” 

    Under the proposals Mr Stride’s Central Devon constituency would lose the East Devon ward of Exe Valley to the East Devon constituency and the Teignbridge wards of Kenn Valley and Chudleigh to the Newton Abbot constituency. Central Devon would gain Great Torrington, Winkleigh and a dozen smaller communities from the Torridge and West Devon constituency. Commenting, Mr Stride added: 

    “I will of course be very disappointed to see communities that I have represented and worked closely with over the past eight years move into other constituencies but because I strongly support the overall aims of the review I cannot complain about how the proposals would affect Central Devon.”