Archive for the ‘West Midlands’ Category


2018 Review: Birmingham & Black Country – full submission

In Birmingham,boundary changes,Dudley,redistricting,Sandwell,Walsall,West Midlands,Wolverhampton on December 12, 2017 by dadge

This counterproposal covers the 26 seats of Birmingham (excluding Sutton Coldfield) and the Black Country (excluding Wolverhampton). The Commission’s proposals for Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton proposals are acceptable, although I’m submitting separately a possible improvement to the latter.

The Commission’s revised proposals for the West Midlands region are generally good. When it comes to the West Midlands county itself (excluding Coventry) several serious problems remain. This counterproposal addresses those problems seat by seat. It would be better if the Commission respected metropolitan borough boundaries more, but this counterproposal, whilst not accepting the argument that the flexibility afforded by the Commission’s policy of amorphous blobbism (i.e. treating regions as single units with little respect for the local authority boundaries within them) is necessary, does go along with it: it includes six cross-border seats, only one fewer than in the Commission’s proposals. It also keeps the number of split wards to a minimum: there are four to the Commission’s three.

Here is a summary map of my counterproposals, taken from the interactive Google map at

bce bbc0

1. Aldridge 76,572
18. Walsall 73,255
4. Erdington 73,557
6. Hodge Hill 77,643
3. Birmingham Central 77,926
9. Small Heath 77,267
5. Hall Green 72,658
7. Kings Norton 71,831
8. Northfield 75,118
11. Edgbaston & Warley South 76,863
19. Warley North 71,590
12. Halesowen & Cradley Heath 78,132
16. Stourbridge 72,591
10. Dudley 78,270
20. Wednesbury 72,803
14. Sandwell Valley 76,523

Aldridge, Brownhills & Bloxwich (1)

As per the Commission’s proposals. The name is a bit of a mouthful; I’m just calling it Aldridge. “Walsall Wood” might be a clever name for this seat.

Walsall & Oscott (18)

Problems: (1) the seat excludes Pleck, which is a central part of the town, and (2) it includes the orphan Oscott ward of Birmingham, thereby splitting the Kingstanding/Perry Beeches part of the city between seats.

Solutions: (1) put Pleck back in the seat, and (2) add the Great Barr & Yew Tree ward from West Bromwich. Still an orphan ward, but with better defined margins. Yew Tree and the Delves have always been closely connected. (3) Rename the seat to Walsall Town (rather than simply “Walsall”, in order to distinguish it from the borough).

Erdington & Perry Barr (4)

Problem: inclusion of the Perry Barr ward. In Birmingham terms, the Walsall Road (the heart of the Perry Barr ward) is geographically distant from the communities that make up Erdington. If the Perry Barr ward didn’t have its Witton tail, the idea of joining Perry Barr to Erdington would be out of the question.

(According to the Commission’s report (p 33) no-one proposed adding Perry Barr to Erdington except John Bryant, a member of the public from Kent whom the Commission like to quote because he’s a fundamentalist dissectologist like they are, i.e. he treats the country like a jigsaw and refuses to split wards even when local circumstances and local people suggest otherwise.)

Solutions: (1) Include Oscott ward instead of Perry Barr. Oscott and Kingstanding wards are the two wards that cover the Kingstanding area of north Birmingham – it’d be good not to have them split between seats. (2) Put Castle Vale in the Hodge Hill seat. The Vale is part of Erdington, but it is a self-contained community, with two shopping centres and a clear boundary with the Pype Hayes area. (3) Rename the seat Erdington.

(Note: my preferred option** is still to split the Oscott ward, with the part of Perry Beeches north of the M6 going into the constituency on the other side of the motorway. However, I’m not recommending that here because it doesn’t work as a solution in the context of the Commission’s revised proposals.)

Hodge Hill (6)

Problem: the inclusion of the Stechford ward means that the Yardley area will be split between constituencies. However, retaining the existing constituency boundary would create difficult knock-on effects on other seats. So the southern boundary of the seat is accepted.

Proposal: to add Castle Vale to the seat, in order to bring the size of the Erdington seat within quota. Although the Vale is separated from the rest of the Hodge Hill seat by the M6, the two parts are strongly linked by the A452, and people from Hodge Hill and Washwood Heath shop at the Fort and Castle Vale retail parks.

Ladywood (3)

Problem: Inclusion of the Soho & Victoria ward, an orphan Sandwell ward. This ward is an integral part of the town of Smethwick; therefore the Commission is splitting that town.

Solution: Include the Nechells ward instead. This ward is part of the existing Ladywood constituency, so including it will significantly reduce the amount of change. In order to do this, four polling districts (CTH CTI CTJ CTK) will need to be included in the Small Heath seat. This would actually be a good thing, since it would bring all parts of Bordesley Green and Small Heath together in the same seat.

I suggest renaming the seat to Birmingham Central. There has been a Central seat before, and the name seems appropriate for a seat that includes the Aston area as well as Ladywood.

Yardley (9)

Problems: (1) the name: the centre of Yardley isn’t in the seat; (2) the proposed seat stretches from Sheldon to Aston, a “bacon strip” of wards obviously put together because of the numbers game the Commission is playing.

Solutions: (1) name the seat Small Heath – this name is more appropriate and has a long pedigree. (2) Remove the Nechells ward and replace with Acocks Green, thereby reducing the amount of change to the seat. Add polling districts CTH CTI CTJ CTK from Nechells ward in order to unite the Wyndcliffe and Holy Trinity areas with the rest of Bordesley Green and Small Heath and bring the electorates of this and the Central seat into the permitted range.

Hall Green (5)

Proposals: (1) Remove Acocks Green ward and add Moseley ward, thereby reverting the seat to its current boundaries. (2) Transfer polling district DEG (Swanshurst Park) from Springfield ward to the Kings Norton seat in order to bring that seat up to quota.

Brandwood (7)

Proposals: (1) remove Moseley ward and add Kings Norton ward. This will unite the Bournville-Cotteridge-Kings Norton area along the A441 in one seat. (2) Add polling district DEG (Swanshurst Park) in order to bring the electorate of the seat up to quota. (3) Rename the seat to Kings Norton – a name with pedigree.

Northfield (8)

Problem: the inclusion of Bromsgrove district wards, making up just 7% of the electorate of the seat. My original proposal** respected the county boundary. It isn’t necessary to include Worcestershire wards in a Birmingham seat, and it’s bad practice to do so, but in order to reduce the amount of upheaval in this counter-proposal I’ve left the Rubery wards in the Northfield seat.

Proposal: remove Kings Norton ward and add Bartley Green ward. This reverts the seat largely to its pre-1997 boundaries and unites the areas either side of Shenley Lane.

Edgbaston & Selly Oak (11)

Proposals: (1) Transfer Bartley Green to the Northfield seat, where it used to be. (2) Add the Abbey and Old Warley wards from Sandwell to this seat. These two wards are more suitable for a cross-border seat than the Soho & Victoria ward that the Commission is proposing to add to the Ladywood seat. Brandhall and Bearwood face Quinton and Harborne across the Hagley Road. (3) Rename the seat Edgbaston & Warley South.

Warley (19)

Problems: (1) Includes orphan Dudley ward (St Thomas) which splits Dudley town between seats. (2) Includes only part of Smethwick – Smethwick is split between three seats.

Solutions: (1) Return St Thomas ward to a Dudley seat. (2) Include all three Smethwick wards (Smethwick, Soho/Victoria and St Pauls) in this seat. (3) Add Rowley ward to this seat. It’s not ideal to split the Rowley Regis area, but the Rowley ward does have good links with Tividale and Oldbury. (4) Rename the seat Warley North.

Halesowen & Rowley Regis (12)

Problem: the Netherton ward, which is part of Dudley town, has been included in this seat to make the numbers up.

Solution: Transfer the Netherton ward to the Dudley town seat. In order to facilitate this, transfer the Wollescote/Cradley and Dudley Wood wards from the Stourbridge seat and remove the Rowley ward. On balance, having Wollescote in the Halesowen seat is preferable to having Woodside in the Halesowen seat. (2) Rename the seat Halesowen & Cradley Heath.

Stourbridge (16)

Proposal: move Brierley Hill town centre into this seat. (A lot of the town is in the proposed seat already.) Transfer Cradley/Wollescote and Quarry Bank/Dudley Wood wards to Halesowen seat. Include Wordsley ward, all of Brierley Hill ward, and Brockmoor part of Brockmoor/Pensnett ward in this seat. Possibly rename the seat Stourbridge & Brierley Hill.

Dudley (10)

Problems: This seat includes only half of Dudley town, and half of Brierley Hill.

Solutions: Add the St Thomas and Netherton/Woodside/St Andrew wards to this seat to unite the main parts of the town in one seat. Include Wordsley ward, all of Brierley Hill ward, and the Brockmoor part of Brockmoor/Pensnett ward in the Stourbridge seat. Possibly change the name of the seat to Dudley Castle to distinguish it from the borough.

Darlaston & Tipton (20)

Problems: (1) The Pleck ward from the centre of Walsall has been included in this seat; (2) Friar Park ward (mostly Wednesbury) has been omitted from the seat; (3) the name of the seat omits Wednesbury, which is the main town in the seat.

Solutions: (1) Remove Pleck; (2) add Friar Park ward. Now all the wards that make up Darlaston, Wednesbury and Tipton are in the seat. (3) Rename the seat, either simply to Wednesbury, or possibly to “Wednesbury, Tipton & Darlaston”.

West Bromwich (14)

Problems: (1) Greets Green & Lyng ward has been split; (2) The seat includes part of Smethwick (via a second split ward); (3) the seat includes a Wednesbury ward (Friar Park); (4) the seat includes an orphan Birmingham ward, Handsworth Wood.

Solutions: (1) Keep all of the Greets Green/Lyng ward in the seat, and (2) put all of the St Pauls ward in the Smethwick (“Warley North”) seat; (3) transfer Friar Park ward to the Wednesbury seat.

(4) My original plan** kept Handsworth Wood in a Birmingham seat. In order to base this counter-proposal as closely as possible on the Commission’s revised proposals, I’ve kept the Handsworth Wood ward in the West Bromwich seat. It’s not a very good ward to use for this purpose, since it’s really one of a pair with its neighbouring Lozells/East Handsworth ward, and it’s separated from West Bromwich by Sandwell Valley. However, perhaps a virtue can be made out of this unfortunate choice. If the Perry Barr ward is added to the new seat instead of to the Erdington seat, Handsworth Wood is no longer an orphan, and the seat can be named Sandwell Valley because the seat surrounds it. Perry Barr ward is a reasonable fit: it merges into Sandwell’s Newton ward at Hamstead.

The Commission’s splitting of wards in Sandwell seems somewhat bizarre. The borough really is the poor relation of their redistricting process – not only has the Commission breached its border six times (see map below), it’s unnecessarily split wards in the borough, going against its own policy. The Commission’s policy, as I understand it, is that wards may be split in extremis if the knock-on effects of not doing so would be unacceptable seats elsewhere. In this case the Commission has done the opposite: it’s avoided splitting wards in Birmingham at all costs, leaving loose ends to be tied in Sandwell. What it should have done – and what I have done – is split wards in Birmingham in order to mitigate problems elsewhere.

bce sandwell nos

In the end I split three wards in Birmingham in order to construct better seats both in the city and throughout the sub-region. I submit that that’s a reasonable compromise, and certainly better than the two splits in Sandwell, one of which divides West Bromwich between seats, and the other one of which divides Smethwick between seats.

Summary of improvements:

  1. Pleck is in the Walsall seat.

  2. Oscott is in a Birmingham seat.

  3. There’s no Sandwell ward in the Ladywood seat.

  4. Nechells ward is in the Ladywood seat instead of the Yardley seat.

  5. Hall Green almost unchanged from the existing seat.

  6. Smethwick is united in one seat instead of being split between three seats.

  7. Woodside is in the Dudley seat instead of in the Halesowen seat.

  8. There’s no Dudley ward in a Warley seat.

  9. Dudley town is united in one seat instead of being split between three seats.

  10. Friar Park is in the Wednesbury seat.

  11. No split wards in Sandwell.

Of course, eradicating these faults in the Commission’s revised proposals has required a few compromises to made, but I commend those compromises to you as necessary in order to improve the overall picture of constituencies in Birmingham and the Black Country. Also, the two split wards in Sandwell have been replaced with three split wards in Birmingham, although I hope you’ll agree that the splits are reasonable.


A note on wards. The Commission has a policy of not splitting wards. In general terms this a sensible policy, since it reduces the permutations from an infinite number to something more manageable. However, when the law was changed to reduce the permitted leeway in seat size from +/-10% to +/-5% this made the policy unworkable. It reduced the number of possible arrangements in authorities with large wards like Birmingham and Dudley to zero, or close to zero, and blindly pursuing the policy has led the Commission to propose ludicrous “bacon strip” seats and multiple cross-border seats and orphan wards, leeching neighbouring authorities to make up the numbers. The irony of this situation is not lost on psephologists who clearly remember how the Commission insisted for so long that the process was not a numbers game – a position with which the courts agreed.

To see how futile the task is of forming seats in Birmingham on the basis of whole wards, consider the following: the electorate of Birmingham (excluding Sutton Coldfield) is 616,632. Therefore the 36 wards have an average electorate of 17,045. Four whole wards have an average electorate of 68,180 and five whole wards have an average electorate of 85,225. Given that the permitted range is 71,031 to 78,507, it can be seen that it’s impossible to form whole-ward seats in the city, except where through luck there’s the odd ward or two considerably above or below the average size. Hopefully this gives a flavour of how crass the unwillingness to deviate from the whole-ward policy had become.

As a footnote to the footnote, it should also be noticed that (a) the Birmingham wards that the Commission is using as its building blocks are obsolete, having been replaced by new wards last year, and (b) the electorates being used by the Commission are also out of date, having been considerably affected by the registration drives before the EU referendum and the 2017 general election.



2018 Review – West Midlands v2.0

In Birmingham,boundary changes,boundary commission,Coventry,Dudley,News,redistricting,Sandwell,Stoke,Walsall,Warwickshire,West Midlands,West Midlands county,Wolverhampton on October 23, 2017 by dadge

The Commission has published its revised recommendations, and there are many improvements. Warwickshire will now have the sensible arrangement of seats that had been obvious to everyone except the Commission. And they have accepted my proposals for Stoke and Newcastle, which is nice.

The map of Birmingham and the Black Country is looking a bit better, but there are still the following (main) problems:

  1. Pleck removed from Walsall*
  2. Oscott ward in a Walsall seat*
  3. Handsworth Wood in a Sandwell seat
  4. Handsworth split between seats
  5. Oddly shaped Erdington seat going up to the Scott Arms*
  6. Smethwick split between three constituencies*
  7. East Smethwick in a Birmingham seat*
  8. Nechells in a sinuous Yardley seat*
  9. Yardley split between seats
  10. Rubery in a Birmingham seat
  11. Netherton in the Halesowen & Rowley Regis seat*
  12. Dudley town split between seats*
  13. East Dudley town in a Sandwell seat*
  14. Friar Park ward not in the Wednesbury seat*
  15. Greets Green in the Tipton seat*

My counter-proposal (interactive map) solves 11 of those 15 problems (shown by stars), but creates five new ones:

  1. Perry Barr in a Sandwell seat
  2. Yew Tree in a Walsall seat
  3. Castle Vale in the Hodge Hill seat
  4. Bearwood and part of Oldbury in a Birmingham seat
  5. Rowley Regis split between seats

But I think that reducing the overall number of problems from 15 to 9 is quite good going. Also, I’d say we go from having eight bad constituencies (out of 20) to just one (can you guess which one?!) so I think that’s definitely an improvement. Excluding the seats in Wolverhampton and Sutton (which have general support), my proposed seats are:

  1. Aldridge, Brownhills & Bloxwich 76572
    18. Walsall 73255
    14. Sandwell Valley 76523
    4. Erdington 73557*
    6. Hodge Hill 77643* (includes Castle Vale DLC DLG DLH)
    3. Birmingham Central* 77926
    9. Small Heath 77267* (includes Bordesley Green CTH CTI CTJ CTK)
    5. Hall Green 72658*
    7. Kings Norton 71831* (includes Swanshurst Park DEG)
    8. Northfield 75118
    11. Edgbaston & Warley South 76863
    19. Warley North 71590
    20. Wednesbury, Tipton & Darlaston 72803
    10. Dudley 78270*
    16. Stourbridge 72591* (includes Brockmoor J05 J06 J07)
    12. Halesowen & Cradley Heath 78132

The stars indicate seats that include parts of split wards. (I have 4 split wards compared to the Commission’s 3.) Seats in bold include wards from two boroughs. (I have 8 compared with the Commission’s 9. Not a big difference there, but this counter-proposal doesn’t make wholesale changes. In an ideal world we’d be looking at something like my original plan, which only had 3 cross-border seats.)

Map of seats listed above:

bce bbc0

If you prefer all or part of this plan to the Commission’s proposals, email them by 11/12/17 at


Map fun

In Birmingham,maps,redistricting,West Midlands county on October 3, 2011 by dadge

Enjoying playing with my new toy. I’ve finally got my hands on the map files of the Commission’s proposals, so I can do maps like these, contrasting the current seats (orange) with the new ones (blue). If you want the files, or have a suggestion for a map, email me at


Birmingham redux

In Birmingham,redistricting,West Midlands on October 3, 2011 by dadge

Here’s probably the best solution for Birmingham, as proposed by Phil Davies on the Vote UK forum. The seats are virtually unchanged from the current constituencies, so they win the “maintaining local ties” argument hands down.

Two wards are split, as is allowed under law, and they are Oscott and Bartley Green. Using the polling district information available online, I’ve put polling districts CVE, CVG, CVH and CVI (approx 5733 voters) in Handsworth and polling districts CCC, CCD, CCE, CCI, CCJ, CCYY and CCZZ (approx 7881 voters) in Northfield.


Sutton Four Oaks 19,103
Sutton New Hall 17,582
Sutton Trinity 19,777
Sutton Vesey 18,569

Erdington 16,461
Kingstanding 17,227
Stockland Green 16,670
Tyburn 17,240
Oscott (part) 12,374

Oscott (part) 5,733
Perry Barr 16,746
Handsworth Wood 18,448
Lozells and East Handsworth 18,493
Soho 16,918

Bordesley Green 19,861
Washwood Heath 19,767
Nechells 19,716
Aston 19,353

Edgbaston 17,490
Harborne 16,473
Ladywood 18,021
Quinton 17,385
Bartley Green (part) 9810

Weoley 17,664
Longbridge 18,397
Bartley Green (part) 7,881
Northfield 19,194
Kings Norton 16,935

Bournville 19,298
Brandwood 18,567
Selly Oak 18,605
Billesley 19,198

Moseley and Kings Heath 18,617
Sparkbrook 19,407
Springfield 20,011
Hall Green 19,122

Acocks Green 19,365
South Yardley 19,784
Stechford and Yardley North 18,037
Sheldon 16,075

Castle Bromwich 9,271
Chelmsley Wood 9,236
Kingshurst and Fordbridge 9,455
Smith’s Wood 8,966
Shard End 18,579
Hodge Hill 17,778
Bickenhill (part) 6,527

(*If it was my choice, I’d call this seat Sparkhill.)


Shropshire/Hereford/Worcs counterproposal

In Herefordshire,redistricting,Shropshire,Telford,West Midlands,Worcestershire on September 26, 2011 by dadge

This area has been allocated 12 seats, and I broadly agree with the Commission’s proposals. In particular, I think since Telford has to be split somehow, the north-south split is elegant and sensible.


1. The fact that Worcester and Shewsbury council areas have electorates slightly below the average does give less “wiggle room” in the rest of the region, but it is best to avoid adding an “orphan ward” from another council to make the numbers up.

2. The Commission has put Alveley in the Ludlow seat even though it’s separated by the River Severn; I’ve put it in the Bridgnorth seat.

3. The Commission has put the Hartlebury area in the Malvern seat even though it’s in Wychavon; I’ve put it in the Evesham seat.

4. The Commission has put the Malvern Wells, Powick and Longdon areas in the Evesham seat even though they’re part of Malvern Hills; I’ve put them in the Malvern seat. I’ve kept Upton and Kempsey in the Evesham seat because of the numbers.

5. At the last review, the people of Golden Valley campaigned successfully to have their area in Hereford and not in Leominster. It seems ridiculous therefore for the Commission to try the same trick again.

6. I’ve made a couple of switches north and east of Hereford, moving Tarrington from Hereford into the Malvern seat and the Bodenham area from Malvern into the Leominster seat.

7. I’ve indicated my changes in italics below.

Telford South and Bridgnorth 79,076
Albrighton 3,616
Alveley and Claverley 3,299
Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts 5,253
Bridgnorth West and Tasley 5,292
Broseley 3,634
Much Wenlock 3,457
Shifnal North 3,657
Shifnal South and Cosford 3,484
Worfield 3,007
Brookside 4,880
Cuckoo Oak 4,042
Dawley Magna 7,241
Horsehay and Lightmoor 2,909
Ironbridge Gorge 2,085
Lawley and Overdale 3,655
Madeley 4,258
Malinslee 4,271
The Nedge 6,598
Woodside 4,438

Bromsgrove and Droitwich 78,487
Beacon 1,741
Catshill 3,469
Charford 4,716
Furlongs 3,355
Hagley 3,772
Hillside 3,906
Linthurst 1,924
Marlbrook 3,397
Norton 3,854
St Johns 3,751
Sidemoor 3,843
Slideslow 3,965
Stoke Heath 1,943
Stoke Prior 1,806
Tardebigge 1,879
Uffdown 1,874
Waseley 3,576
Whitford 3,890
Woodvale 1,817
Dodderhill 1,957
Droitwich Central 2,001
Droitwich East 4,264
Droitwich South East 4,050
Droitwich South West 3,957
Droitwich West 3,780

Evesham 78,154
Kempsey 3,245
Ripple 1,500
Upton and Hanley 3,422
Badsey 2,142
Bengeworth 3,516
Bowbrook 2,163
Bredon 2,028
Bretforton and Offenham 2,017
Broadway and Wickhamford 3,762
Drakes Broughton 1,884
Eckington 2,234
Elmley Castle and Somerville 1,955
Evesham North 3,483
Evesham South 4,033
Fladbury 2,181
Great Hampton 1,992
Harvington and Norton 1,963
Honeybourne and Pebworth 1,913
Inkberrow 4,555
Little Hampton 3,543
Norton and Whittington 2,183
Pershore 5,667
Pinvin 2,259
South Bredon Hill 1,897
The Littletons 2,150
Upton Snodsbury 2,181
Hartlebury 2,139
Lovett and North Claines 4,287
Ombersley 1,860

Hereford 79,069
Aylestone 4,987
Belmont 6,364
Burghill, Holmer and Lyde 2,618
Central 2,001
Credenhill 2,581
Golden Valley North 2,379
Golden Valley South 2,384

Hollington 1,566
Kerne Bridge 2,548
Llangarron 2,619
Old Gore 2,518
Penyard 2,680
Pontrilas 2,809
Ross-on-Wye East 3,823
Ross-on-Wye West 4,246
St Martins and Hinton 8,313
St Nicholas 4,860
Stoney Street 2,419
Three Elms 7,643
Tupsley 7,089
Valletts 2,622

Ludlow and Leominster 74,446
Bircher 2,340
Castle 2,528
Golden Cross with Weobley 2,342
Hampton Court 2,157
Kington Town 2,451
Leominster North 4,156
Leominster South 4,433
Mortimer 2,578
Pembridge and Lyonshall with Titley 2,387
Sutton Walls 2,440
Upton 2,330
Wormsley Ridge 2,047
Bishop’s Castle 2,837
Brown Clee 3,033
Chirbury and Worthen 2,397
Church Stretton and Craven Arms 6,933
Clee 3,566
Cleobury Mortimer 5,509
Clun 3,093
Corvedale 3,050
Highley 2,720
Ludlow East 3,038
Ludlow North 3,030
Ludlow South 3,051

Great Malvern 77,858
Backbury 2,474
Bringsty 2,290
Bromyard 4,547
Frome 2,751
Hagley 2,909
Hope End 4,492
Ledbury 7,342
Alfrick and Leigh 2,927
Baldwin 1,691
Broadheath 2,825
Chase 4,876
Dyson Perrins 2,906
Hallow 1,534
Lindridge 1,823
Link 4,958
Martley 1,419
Pickersleigh 4,481
Priory 2,965
Teme Valley 1,559
Tenbury 3,022
West 3,240
Woodbury 1,660
Longdon 1,711
Morton 1,680
Powick 3,124
Wells 2,652

North Shropshire 77,673
Cheswardine 3,044
Ellesmere Urban 2,855
Hodnet 2,817
Llanymynech 3,228
Market Drayton East 3,497
Market Drayton West 6,562
Oswestry East 6,734
Oswestry South 3,209
Oswestry West 2,909
Prees 3,172
Ruyton and Baschurch 2,872
St Martin’s 3,397
St Oswald 3,187
Selattyn and Gobowen 5,547
Shawbury 3,432
The Meres 3,326
Wem 6,250
Whitchurch North 5,345
Whitchurch South 3,152
Whittington 3,138

Redditch 76,738
Alvechurch 5,251
Drakes Cross and Walkers Heath 3,933
Hollywood and Majors Green 3,661
Wythall South 1,956
Abbey 4,345
Astwood Bank and Feckenham 4,699
Batchley & Brockhill 5,643
Central 4,409
Church Hill 6,019
Crabbs Cross 4,550
Greenlands 6,225
Headless Cross and Oakenshaw 6,782
Lodge Park 3,831
Matchborough 4,493
West 4,557
Winyates 6,384

Shrewsbury 73,978
Abbey 2,964
Bagley 3,435
Battlefield 2,645
Bayston Hill, Column and Sutton 9,498
Belle Vue 3,225
Bowbrook 2,779
Burnell 3,189
Castlefields and Ditherington 3,198
Copthorne 2,993
Harlescott 3,377
Longden 3,066
Loton 3,031
Meole 2,980
Minsterley 3,020
Monkmoor 3,338
Porthill 3,129
Quarry and Coton Hill 2,698
Radbrook 3,115
Severn Valley 3,185
Sundorne 2,962
Tern 3,370
Underdale 2,781

The Wrekin 76,915
Apley Castle 2,328
Arleston 2,450
Church Aston and Lilleshall 2,563
College 2,211
Donnington 4,726
Dothill 1,961
Edgmond 2,115
Ercall 2,516
Ercall Magna 2,400
Hadley and Leegomery 7,478
Haygate 2,456
Ketley and Oakengates 7,125
Muxton 4,738
Newport East 1,999
Newport North 2,359
Newport South 2,030
Newport West 2,093
Park 2,029
Priorslee 4,706
St Georges 4,678
Shawbirch 2,443
Wrockwardine 4,459
Wrockwardine Wood and Trench 5,052

Worcester 73,960
Arboretum 4,537
Battenhall 4,139
Bedwardine 6,337
Cathedral 7,247
Claines 6,634
Gorse Hill 3,820
Nunnery 5,911
Rainbow Hill 3,970
St Clement 4,714
St John 5,729
St Peter’s Parish 4,483
St Stephen 4,090
Warndon 4,111
Warndon Parish North 4,137
Warndon Parish South 4,101

Wyre Forest 77,800
Aggborough and Spennells 5,264
Areley Kings 4,738
Bewdley and Arley 5,429
Blakedown and Chaddesley 3,332
Broadwaters 5,960
Cookley 2,051
Franche 5,561
Greenhill 6,036
Habberley and Blakebrook 5,273
Lickhill 5,526
Mitton 5,904
Offmore and Comberton 5,444
Oldington and Foley Park 3,793
Rock 2,041
Sutton Park 5,646
Wolverley 1,762
Wribbenhall 4,040


Staffordshire counterproposal

In redistricting,Staffordshire,Stoke,West Midlands on September 25, 2011 by dadge

(Current boundaries)                    (My proposal)

Staffordshire is a relatively easy area to review since it can be reviewed on its own and most of the county requires little change. It is losing one seat though, in the north-west of the county, and the question is whether to merge Stone with part of Newcastle or with part of Stoke. The Commission has chosen the former, but their resultant splitting of Newcastle is a bit of a dog’s dinner. So I’ve gone along with the counter-proposal made by Adam Gray and others for a Stoke South & Stone seat.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be possible to work out an arrangement that doesn’t move Hixon from Stafford into Lichfield.

Butt Lane 4,349
Kidsgrove 5,255
Newchapel 2,801
Ravenscliffe 3,372
Talke 3,206
Tunstall 9,836
Chell and Packmoor 9,211
Burslem North 9,131
Burslem South 8,730
Norton and Bradeley 8,909
East Valley 10,226

Abbey Green 8,962
Bentilee and Townsend 9,008
Berryhill and Hanley East 7,717
Hanley West and Shelton 8,434
Northwood and Birches Head 8,949
Fenton 9,225
Longton North 10,660
Longton South 10,274

Blurton 9,550
Stoke and Trent Vale 9,659
Hartshill and Penkhull 9,045
Meir Park and Sandon 10,082
Trentham and Hanford 9,769
Weston and Meir Park 9,064
Stonefield and Christchurch 4,086
Walton 4,585
St. Michael’s 3,618
Fulford 4,808
Barlaston and Oulton 3,224

Brereton and Ravenhill 5,095
Cannock East 5,581
Cannock North 5,447
Cannock South 5,735
Cannock West 5,727
Etching Hill and The Heath 5,382
Hagley 3,434
Hawks Green 5,699
Heath Hayes East and Wimblebury 5,010
Hednesford Green Heath 3,976
Hednesford North 5,548
Hednesford South 4,254
Norton Canes 5,818
Rawnsley 3,837
Western Springs 5,137

Abbey 2,334
Anglesey 4,005
Branston 5,526
Brizlincote 4,317
Burton 2,189
Churnet 2,207
Crown 2,136
Eton Park 4,063
Heath 4,779
Horninglow 6,216
Rolleston on Dove 2,722
Shobnall 4,753
Stapenhill 5,817
Stretton 6,363
Town 5,304
Tutbury and Outwoods 4,672
Weaver 1,705
Winshill 6,194
BURTON 75,302

Yoxall 2,169
Needwood 4,534
Bagots 2,144
All Saints 2,825
Alrewas and Fradley 4,490
Armitage with Handsacre 4,180
Boley Park 3,987
Boney Hay 2,484
Burntwood Central 2,496
Chadsmead 2,721
Chase Terrace 4,047
Chasetown 3,114
Colton and Mavesyn Ridware 1,474
Curborough 3,851
Highfield 3,172
King’s Bromley 1,379
Leomansley 5,315
Longdon 1,576
St John’s 5,002
Stowe 3,965
Summerfield 2,662
Whittington 2,666
Haywood and Hixon 5,173

Audley and Bignall End 4,694
Bradwell 4,970
Chesterton 5,475
Clayton 3,195
Cross Heath 4,340
Halmerend 3,038
Holditch 3,366
Keele 3,203
Knutton and Silverdale 3,147
Loggerheads and Whitmore 5,634
Madeley 3,419
May Bank 5,003
Porthill 3,229
Seabridge 4,682
Silverdale and Parksite 2,754
Thistleberry 4,606
Town 3,702
Westlands 4,830
Wolstanton 4,458

Bilbrook 3,350
Brewood and Coven 5,482
Cheslyn Hay North and Saredon 3,409
Cheslyn Hay South 3,038
Codsall North 3,340
Codsall South 3,366
Essington 3,965
Featherstone and Shareshill 3,759
Great Wyrley Landywood 3,866
Great Wyrley Town 4,972
Himley and Swindon 1,707
Huntington and Hatherton 3,781
Kinver 6,005
Pattingham and Patshull 1,847
Perton Dippons 1,597
Perton East 1,790
Perton Lakeside 5,059
Trysull and Seisdon 1,788
Wheaton Aston, Bishopwood and Lapley 3,347
Wombourne North and Lower Penn 5,304
Wombourne South East 3,210
Wombourne South West 3,554

Penkridge North East and Acton Trussell 3,085
Penkridge South East 3,550
Penkridge West 1,689
Baswich 3,489
Chartley 1,581
Church Eaton 1,749
Common 2,946
Coton 2,722
Eccleshall 5,259
Forebridge 3,325
Gnosall and Woodseaves 5,171
Highfields and Western Downs 4,556
Holmcroft 5,016
Littleworth 4,803
Manor 4,572
Milford 3,851
Milwich 1,575
Penkside 2,996
Rowley 3,537
Seighford 2,883
Swynnerton 3,642
Tillington 3,109
Weeping Cross 5,183

Alton 1,125
Bagnall and Stanley 1,361
Biddulph East 4,630
Biddulph Moor 1,395
Biddulph North 4,253
Biddulph South 1,408
Biddulph West 4,346
Brown Edge and Endon 4,019
Caverswall 1,428
Cellarhead 2,617
Cheadle North East 2,768
Cheadle South East 2,888
Cheadle West 4,026
Checkley 4,523
Cheddleton 4,321
Churnet 2,599
Dane 1,263
Forsbrook 4,173
Hamps Valley 1,456
Horton 1,558
Ipstones 1,521
Leek East 3,926
Leek North 4,080
Leek South 4,374
Leek West 3,775
Manifold 1,512
Werrington 2,689

Amington 5,937
Belgrave 5,694
Bolehall 5,821
Castle 5,614
Glascote 5,622
Mercian 5,203
Spital 5,488
Stonydelph 5,765
Trinity 5,958
Wilnecote 7,036
Shenstone 2,701
Stonnall 1,251
Mease and Tame 2,895
Little Aston 2,451
Fazeley 3,721
Bourne Vale 1,387
Hammerwich 2,832

The Commission’s proposals are here. Map. Send your comments to the Commission here.


West Midlands review

In redistricting,West Midlands on September 24, 2011 by dadge

The West Midlands region has been allocated 54 seats. Comparing the electorates of the counties and boroughs with the electoral quota produces seat allocations as follows:

voters seats
Staffordshire 654,692 8.54
Stoke 186,441 2.43
Shropshire 228,607 2.98
Telford 121,292 1.58
Herefordshire 138,063 1.80
Worcestershire 436,192 5.69
Warwickshire 407,922 5.32
Solihull 160,782 2.10
Birmingham 731,731 9.55
Sandwell 219,710 2.87
Walsall 191,056 2.49
Dudley 242,131 3.16
Wolverhampton 172,294 2.25
Coventry 224,755 2.93

Because of the 5% rule, most of these areas will have to be combined with other areas. For example, if Herefordshire had two whole seats, their electorates would be around 69,031, which is well below the limit. The way the Commission has combined the areas is probably the only sensible one, and it’s the arrangement I’m using, although I’ve extricated Sandwell fom the mix:

Staffordshire & Stoke
10.97 >>> 11 seats @ 76,467
Shropshire, Telford, Herefordshire, Worcestershire
12.05 >>> 12 seats @ 77,013
Coventry 2.93 >>> 3 seats @ 74,918
Warwickshire, Solihull, Birmingham
16.97 >>> 17 seats @ 76,496
Sandwell 2.87 >>> 3 seats @ 73,237
Dudley, Wolverhampton, Walsall
7.90 >>> 8 seats @ 75,685

These ad hoc pairings* aren’t ideal – at subsequent reviews the electoral statistics will have changed and areas will have to be uncoupled and recoupled, causing considerable regular disruption for MPs and constituents – but they will be a fact of life until the law is changed.

Where the Commission and I part company is in how to treat these groups of areas. Unlike in the past, the Commission seems now to have a cavalier attitude to boundaries. For example, in its proposals six constituencies cross the Birmingham city boundary. In my opinion, when two areas are combined there should ideally only be one seat that crosses the common boundary, and the seat should cross the boundary at a suitable place. I’ve included the Meriden area in a new Mid Warwickshire seat because that area has a rural character, and it was only removed from Warwickshire in 1974 because they needed a land bridge between Coventry and the rest of the conurbation.

*A group of three is two pairings! 🙂