Archive for the ‘Nottinghamshire’ Category

Articles

Everything Nottingham

In boundary changes,East Midlands,Nottinghamshire on October 30, 2011 by dadge

Here are various proposals for you to compare with the current constituency map. I haven’t included the Tory plan because they back the Boundary Commission’s, and I haven’t included my map because it’s almost identical to the LibDems’.

Boundary Commission
Nottingham West 78,494
Nottingham South & West Bridgford 78,367
Nottingham East 73,445 – includes Carlton
Nottingham North & Hucknall 73,222
Broxtowe 73,643 – includes Gotham
Sherwood 75,220 – includes part of Arnold

Robert Howard
Nottingham SW & Beeston 79,482
Nottingham West & Broxtowe 78,643
Nottingham SE & Gedling South 79,850
Nottingham Central & Arnold 77,219
Rushcliffe 80,427

Labour
Nottingham West & Beeston 76,449
Nottingham North 75,782
Rushcliffe 73,430
Erewash Valley 73,055 – includes Stapleford, Toton and Kimberley
Nottingham East 73,743
Gedling 74,203
Sherwood 76,674 – includes Nuthall and Hucknall

Lib Dems
Nottingham Central 74,165
Nottingham North 75,360
Nottingham West & Beeston 73,584
Rushcliffe 74,780 – includes Clifton
Gedling 74,203
Hucknall 74,314 – includes Kimberley and Rainworth

What’s your opinion? Let me know in the comments or by email. Or email the Boundary Commission.

Articles

East Midlands – Labour counterproposals

In boundary changes,Derbyshire,East Midlands,Labour,Leicestershire,Nottinghamshire on October 29, 2011 by dadge

I’ve done my best to construct a map based on the notes I took on Thursday, but it’s possible there may be mistakes, so don’t take this as gospel. I haven’t included Lincolnshire or Northamptonshire because Labour accepts the Commission’s proposals for those two counties in full.

Most of the plan is quite reasonable, but it’s too radical, so I think we have to write it off as an academic exercise. I assume the arrangements for Derby amount to some sort of gerrymander (on Thursday a Labour councillor spoke about “keeping similar kinds of wards together” which set alarm bells ringing) but others will be better placed than me to check on that.

Constituency Electorate
Ashby & Swadlincote 76740
Rutland & Melton 75499
Nottm W & Beeston 76449
Ilkeston 73939
Ashfield 77049
Mansfield 79849
High Peak 73691
Derbyshire Dales & Dronfield 79430
Chesterfield 76386
Bolsover & NE Derbys 76305
Alfreton & Shirebrook 73831
Derby W & Belper 80250
Nottingham N 75782
Rushcliffe 73430
Erewash Valley 73055
Derby S 77324
Nottingham E 73743
Derby N 76277
Gedling 74203
Sherwood 76674
Newark 74178
Bassetlaw 76535
Coalville & Bosworth 79982
Leicester W 78088
Leicester E 74377
Harborough 80260
Loughborough 75847
Leicester S 78433
Hinckley & Blaby 79242
Charnwood 78555

Proposals spreadsheet

Larger scale maps: north  south

 

Articles

Derby hearing report

In boundary changes,Derbyshire,East Midlands,News,Nottinghamshire on October 29, 2011 by dadge

On Thursday and Friday the lead hearing for the East Midlands region took place in Derby. The Assistant Commissioner (AC), Douglas Edwards, seems a nice chap, though it must come as a shock, even to an experienced professional like him, to suddenly be overcome, at 10.15 a.m. on a wet Thursday morning, by a tidal wave of maps, data and placenames. Just as I was about to leave I met Charles Pattie, the electoral geographer from Sheffield, and I can’t help wondering why the Commission doesn’t employ geographers, rather than lawyers, to run these hearings.

The AC pointed out that the purpose of the hearings was not to engage in a debate on the Commission’s proposals. This is true, but why not? It does seem odd that anyone can go and criticise the proposals, but no-one from the Commission will answer back or attempt any justification for what they’ve done. Bizarre. The secretary to the Commission, Simon James, made the telling remark that “the only criterion is meeting the statutory electoral range.” I hadn’t heard this admission before, and it explains a lot.

Greg Cook presents Labour's proposals

Labour were first at the rostrum; their presentation was delivered, with a notable absence of maps, by their political strategist Greg Cook. Now call me suspicious, but I assume that no maps = crazy shit ahoy, and Labour’s proposals were certainly the most radical on offer. Instead of two cross-border seats, Greg mooted three, with Coalville-Keyworth being replaced by Swad-Ashby and Long Eaton-Stapleford. He’s certainly right that those pairings look logical, but forcing Derbyshire to share two seats with other counties probably wouldn’t go down too well. (I don’t think he’s right to describe the Erewash border as “poorly defined” though I know what he means.) The devil is in the detail, as they say, and when you see how Labour are splitting Broxtowe up you’ll appreciate that their idea was better in theory than in practice. Another Labour gem to look out for is Derbyshire Dales and Dronfield.

Labour’s plans for Derby involve what I call “leeching” – they’re roping in Ockbrook and Aston to make the numbers up for their North and South Derby seats. MP Chris Williamson spoke later in support of this plan.

Next up were the Lib Dems, in the shape of CEO Chris Fox. Nice big colourful maps up on the screen this time, showing us another radical alternative: they’ve gone for the Melton-Bingham and Rutland-Corby cross-border seats that I went for! GMTA?

Chris made big play of the fact that he got the local associations to draw up the plans for their areas, and I think the Nottinghamshire plan is very good. The Derbyshire plan I’m not so keen on – I’m sure it makes sense, but I can’t see the Commission going with the Greater-Derby-style seats or the A61 eel (which stretches from Bolsover to Holbrook) or the Mid-Derbyshire amoeba. He described North East Derbyshire district as “artificial” and said it should be eliminated. He has a point there – I’m not sure it’s even possible to get from the north to the south of the district without going through Chesterfield, but I remember plans to split it at the last Review getting short shrift.

Time for a stolen coffee (Everyone was drinking the free coffee in the lobby until the Conference Centre let us know, through the AC, that it wasn’t for us!) and then the veteran Roger Pratt presented the Tory counter-proposals. One thing you can be certain of with Roger, that you can’t say with certainty of the other two parties, is that He Knows What He’s Doing. And what he did this time was congratulate the Boundary Commission on their plans and just tweak them here and there.

I think there’s an important message to bear in mind here, which is that the terms of this Review, and the revised Policies of the Commission, are very beneficial to the Tory party, and they know that if the Initial Proposals just go through “as is” the champagne corks will be popping on Millbank.

Roger’s presentation contained much wisdom, with regard to things like coterminousness, constituency names, and the reuse of previous boundaries, but his praise for the Commission’s plans for Nottinghamshire was disingenuous to say the least. He even wheeled a lady out to tell us how wonderful she thought it was that Rushcliffe was going to be smashed to pieces and her village of Gotham was going to be appended to Broxtowe. To use the local idiom, there’s summat up there.

The last presentation before lunch was by Robert Howard, a localist who had prepared the current Nottingham wards. He took us on a virtual bus tour of the city in order to explain how it should be divided between constituencies, and, looking at his report, I notice he’s squeezed Nottinghamshire into 10 seats, so I’m not sure what the Commission would do with Northamptonshire.

In my presentation I concentrated on Derby (arguing that no-one should be scared of splitting a ward), Nottinghamshire (far and away the worst part of the Commission’s proposals) and Leicestershire (the knock-on effects of removing Melton rather than Coalville).

The best turn was Sam Boote, a LibDem from Rushcliffe, who held up the map of the proposed constituency of Coalville and Keyworth (pdf) and proceeded to take the piss out of it for the next ten minutes. Bravo, sir!

Quote of the day: “This isn’t a numbers game though in the end it comes down to numbers.” Chris Fox

Postscript

You’ll see the ominous word “wards” on the screen in the photo. Labour continue to be apologists for the Commission’s policy of not splitting wards, even though it’s bound to cost them several seats at the next election. Greg’s excuses were: (a) precedent; (b) polling district data is inaccessible; (c) the process would be complicated further; (d) participation would be reduced. To which I say (a) plenty of other precedents have been broken at this review; (b) I’ve done very well so far in finding PD data online, and if I can do it, so can the Boundary Commission! (c) a fair point, but the people of England are worth it; (d) nonsense.

Greg’s point about participation referred in the main to party activists, who he said would be put off if the ward they lived or volunteered in was split. This is debatable, and anyway, are we really going to spoil the whole process for the sake of a couple of hundred party workers who live in the three dozen wards that would be affected? And participation in the whole review process would be much improved if people weren’t strait-jacketed by the pressure not to split wards. As it is, in several cities people are faced with something of a fait accompli – options are very limited, and what options there are are equally ridiculous.

Articles

Nottinghamshire

In East Midlands,Nottinghamshire,redistricting on October 24, 2011 by dadge

Nottinghamshire’s theoretical entitlement (TE) is 10.30 seats, so it has 10 seats wholly in the county and one shared with another county (Leicestershire).

The city of Nottingham has a TE of 2.52, and I’ve split 15 wards between a North seat and a South seat, combined the two Clifton wards with Rushcliffe wards, and combined the three wards in the Wollaton/University area with Broxtowe wards.

This means a new arrangement in the Ashfield and Sherwood area. Although I don’t like creating orphan wards, adding the Ravenshead ward to the Ashfield seat improves the shapes and connections.

I don’t know why the Commission split Warsop – I’ve taken the whole of Warsop out of the Mansfield seat and put Clipstone in.

Clifton Bridgford 76,359
Melton & Bingham 77,684
Beeston 75,588
Nottingham N 75,360
Nottingham S 74,165
Gedling 74,203
Hucknall 74,118
Ashfield & Rufford 75,241
Mansfield 73,836
Newark & Meden 74,214
Bassetlaw 76,718