Plans for ‘Devonwall’ constituency back in the spotlight

Should a new electoral boundary change combine Bideford with North Cornwall?
Should a new electoral boundary change combine Bideford with North Cornwall?

Should parts of North Devon and North Cornwall be joined to create a new electoral area?

Proposals to create a so-called ‘Devonwall’ cross-border constituency – linking parts of North Devon with North Cornwall – are back on the table.

There were reports last month that moves to create a new cross-county electoral area had been shelved.

But a new report was published by the Boundary Commission for England today (Tuesday), outlining revised proposals for a Bideford, Bude and Launceston constituency that would replace the current Torridge and West Devon area.

The report said there had been support for a ‘Devonwall’ constituency during a previous public consultation, but also ‘many objections’.

“It was argued that Cornwall was a separate entity to the rest of England and should be treated in the same way as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in terms of the review,” said the report.

“Our assistant commissioners were sympathetic to the arguments against a cross-county constituency between Cornwall and Devon, but accepted that the statutory rules left them with no choice but to recommend such a constituency.”

Last year Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox said there are ‘more important things’ to focus on than new election boundaries.

Parliamentary boundaries are being reviewed following a decision by the Government to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650.

The commission has launched an eight-week public consultation, which closes on December 11.

It will then present its final recommendations to the Government in September 2018.

If agreed, the new constituencies would be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2022.

What do you think? Email letters@northdevongazette.co.uk or to take part in the 
public consultation, visit www.bce2018.org.uk


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