Archive for the ‘Kent’ Category

Articles

Medway

In boundary changes,Kent,South East on October 28, 2011 by dadge

Thanks to the kind intervention of a commenter, I’ve amended my proposals for the Medway area of Kent, and now you’ll be hard-pressed to see the difference between them and the current constituencies.

Hopefully you’ve spotted the differences are (1) the transfer of the River ward to Gillingham, (2) the addition of Kings Hill, Leybourne, West Malling and East Malling to the Chatham constituency, and (3) the transfer of Holborough and Snodland to the Rochester constituency. So under my proposals, Cuxton, Halling, Holborough and Snodland are now together in the Rochester seat.

Contrast that with the Boundary Commission’s proposals. They’re suggesting, mostly for no good reason, that 4 wards from the centre of the urban area are swapped around between the Medway seats, moving 35,000 voters unnecessarily.

It’s interesting to see how that massive change was spun…

According to the Politicus blog, “Medway’s three existing parliamentary constituencies look set to remain, with minor changes.”

According to the Rochester People blog, “all three Medway constituencies will be slightly redesigned but otherwise intact.”

John Ward introduces his blogpost by stating that “it looks as though our three constituencies would remain as now” with “a few changes.”

Tristan Osborne showed more perspicacity, saying “It seems the wonks in the Boundary Commission have made some quite odd ward moves.”

Kent Online reported, with Twitter-style brevity, “The Medway Towns will continue to have three MPs but there are name changes and new boundaries for all.”

If you want massive change in Medway, or if you don’t, email the Commission.

Note: Sorry the original post had mistakes in it – I hope I’ve corrected them all!

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Articles

Kent and East Sussex

In Kent,redistricting,South East,Sussex on October 26, 2011 by dadge

Kent – theoretical entitlement 16.12 seats
East Sussex – 7.69 seats
Combined – 23.81; allocation 24 seats, average 76,030

Click to see the Commission’s plan.

The first thing to say about this area is that this is not a natural pairing, but it might survive for a Review or two because of the relative population growth of the two counties.

1. Brighton: the Commission have gone for a Brighton & Hove Inner and Brighton & Hove Outer arrangement – I prefer a Hove seat and a Brighton seat.

2. The Weald, Hailsham and Bexhill: Crowborough-Cranbrook makes quite a good cross-border seat but it throws out the pattern all around. In the Commission’s plan, Uckfield, Heathfield and Crowborough are all in different seats, and the Hailsham-Polegate area is split between seats.

Although it’s an Odd Couple, the eastern side of the High Weald can be put together with Bexhill to form a seat that respects the boundary of Rother district and allows Ashford district to be separated into two sensible sections, one based on Tenterden.

This also allows Uckfield, Heathfield and Crowborough to be in a single seat, as well as the creation of a seat based on Seaham and Hailsham.

3. Folkestone: Shepway district has an electorate of 80,060, so the constituency can be exactly the same.

4. Thanet/Canterbury: I’ve got nothing against Sandwich being in the Thanet seat, but it isn’t necessary. If you move the boundary between Margate and Westgate to the correct place, you can also create a coastal-towns constituency which will allow the Whitstable and Canterbury areas not to be split between seats.

5. Medway: Including Snodland in the Rochester seat (i.e. the border with the Chatham seat follows the river) allows a much better division of the Medway wards between seats, even without splitting any of them.

6. North West: I’ve included Swanley in the Dartford seat and New Barn in the Gravesham seat.

7. West: Sevenoaks district has an electorate close to the quota so I don’t see the point of ignoring the boundary. The question then remains of what to do with the Low Weald. The Commission tacks it on to Tonbridge, which is a valid option, but I don’t see why it can’t form a seat on its own. This does of course have the consequence that Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells would be reunited in a single constituency for the first time since 1970…

Electorates:

  • Hove 78,212
    Brighton Central 76,013
    Lewes 76,356
    Hailsham & Newhaven 74,573
    West Weald 73,884
    Eastbourne 76,978
    Hastings & Rye 76,422
    Bexhill & East Weald 80,009
    Folkestone & Hythe 80,060
    Ashford 74,230
    Dover 77,565
    East Thanet 75,112
    North Kent Coast 74,210
    Canterbury & Faversham 74,433
    Sittingbourne & Sheppey 74,796
    Maidstone 76,365
    Gillingham 76,487
    Rochester 76,943
    Chatham & Aylesford 73,808
    Mid Kent 73,862
    Dartford 80,284
    Gravesham 75,604
    Sevenoaks 74,799
    Tonbridge 73,722

Comparison with the Commission’s proposals:

Brighton, Medway and East Kent in 1944.

Click here to give the Commission your opinions.