Parliamentary boundary changes could see Ely linked with St Ives

Jim Paice

Jim Paice

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"Wherever possible, there should be a tie up with local Government boundaries but that is not going to be easy."

ELY could be linked with St Ives as part of suggested Parliamentary boundary changes.

The Electoral Reform Society says the current South East Cambridgeshire constituency would have to be redrawn if the Coalition Government presses ahead with controversial plans to reduce the number of MPs.

In its place it proposes an Ely and St Ives voting area of 79,424 people which would see Ely, Haddenham, Isleham and Sutton represented by the same person as Fenstanton, St Ives and Manea.

The remaining parts of the constituency would be in a Cottenham and Waterbeach constituency of 81,309 voters, which puts Burwell, Fordham and Dullingham villages and Bourn together with Bar Hill, Girton and Histon, near Cambridge.

Soham would be split in two by the proposed changes, with Soham North represented by one MP and Soham South by another.

Current South East Cambs MP Jim Paice said he had not seen the proposed changes.

However, he said the current arrangement was “not giving equal representation”.

He said: “The decision to reduce the number of MPs is something I think people will welcome.

“Wherever possible, there should be a tie up with local Government boundaries but that is not going to be easy.”

He added that many people find it “confusing” to live in district council and Parliamentary constituency areas which cover different boundaries.

“Wherever you live, the MP who represents you should represent the same number of people,” the minister said.

Keith Best, from the Electoral Reform Society, said: “The Government’s stated intention is to redraw constituencies and make them equal-sized.

“The proposed legislation, in its present form, cannot achieve this goal.

“Their decision to build seats using registered voters rather than the adult population is a recipe for bloated constituencies packed with invisible citizens.

“If MPs can act responsibly we can have fair seats while ensuring the public aren’t denied an historic opportunity to choose fairer votes.”

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