Identities could be preserved

Rye and Battle Observer letters
Rye and Battle Observer letters

From: Stephen Hardy, George Close, Robertsbridge

Today the Boundary Commission for England has published its revised proposals for parliamentary constituencies in England, and for once, in the South East, it would appear that they have taken notice of what consultees have said in respect of the proposed High Weald constituency which was spread across two counties and four district council areas .

In my submission to them, a year ago I said ‘the communities involved have absolutely no unifying thread between themselves’.

So I welcome the Boundary Commission’s conclusion that ‘there was opposition to the initial proposals for a High Weald constituency straddling East Sussex and Kent, with the view being that it was too large and would be difficult for a Member of Parliament to deal with, with no community of interest, other than that all parts are very rural in nature’.

However the problem the Boundary Commission faces is that they have an absolute unbending mandate to create constituencies which are all between voting populations of 71,031 and 78,507 electors – yes, believe it or not those are the precise figures the Commission has to work with.

There is a short period for comments to be made and I see no reason why a little sensible shuffling of parishes we could get to something which is sensible.

Ticehurst and Etchingham find themselves unfortunately in the rump 
of the former notion of the High Weald constituency but with only a little bit of juggling, i.e. Horam into Lewes and Uckfield and East Dean into Eastbourne, common sense and identities of communities could be preserved, and Ticehurst and Etchingham could remain in Bexhill and Battle constituency.