The City of Birmingham (including Sutton Coldfield) has 10 constituencies: Erdington, Perry Barr, Ladywood, Hodge Hill, Yardley, Edgbaston, Hall Green, Selly Oak, Northfield and Sutton Coldfield.
A review of the constituencies is going on, and with the national reduction in the number of MPs from 650 to 600, Birmingham will only be entitled to 9 and a half MPs. So, two wards from Birmingham will have to be put together with an area outside the city to form a new cross-border constituency. That’s bad enough, but what’s much worse is the plan the Boundary Commission has come up with: it proposes SIX cross-border seats which include bits of Birmingham put together with other areas, plus it proposes two seats which combine parts of Birmingham with parts of Sutton Coldfield:
(The city boundary is shown by a thick black line. The proposed constituencies are shown by thick blue lines.)
OUT OF Birmingham
1. Oscott Ward (Great Barr) -> Walsall
a. Kingstanding Ward -> Sutton
3. Soho ward (Winson Green) -> Smethwick
4. Shard End ward -> Meriden
6. Sheldon ward -> Solihull
2. Castle Bromwich ward -> Erdington
b. Sutton New Hall ward (Walmley) -> Erdington
5. Old Warley ward (South Oldbury) -> Harborne
You can see from the map that Solihull is also being split – the Commission plans to put some of Shirley in the Kenilworth seat. (pdf)
How has this happened?
Under pressure from politicians, the Commission has decided that, rather than respect our cities and communities, it will, for its own convenience, and the convenience of the politicians, split our cities apart. This is not just happening in Birmingham – several other cities are affected, including Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton.
What can we do about it?
We can tell the Commission and the politicians: “Split my ward, not my city! Let’s make democracy make sense.”