Amanda Taylor

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Queen Edith’s is in Cambridge!

by admin on 24 September, 2011

Most people who live in the Queen Edith’s area – the part of Cambridge between Hills and Cherry Hinton Roads and Wort’s Causeway – would agree with me. They are represented by three city councillors (including yours truly), and we pay our council tax and business rates to Cambridge City Council. Queen Edith’s is home to Homerton College, part of the University of Cambridge, and a good proportion of the city’s sixth-form students come to college here every day.

Alone amongst the fourteen wards of the City of Cambridge, we are  assigned to the South Cambridgeshire constituency, and have a different MP from the rest of Cambridge. This makes the Cambridge constituency a very strange shape, rather like Attila the Hun! The incongruity of this is supported by the number of times Queen Edith’s separation from the rest of Cambridge is mentioned when the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire constituencies are described.

You may have read about the shake-up of constituency boundaries. The Government is cutting down the number of parliamentary constituencies and standardising the number of people in them – a good idea, but it involves a lot of arithmetic and calculation, not all of it with results that recognize natural communities. In future, no Member of Parliament is to represent fewer than 72,810 or more than 80,473 electors. The changes are being worked up by the Boundary Commission and they are expected to be in force by the time of the next General Election in 2015.

The proposals have just been published, and you can read them on the Boundary Commission‘s website. If you prefer to look at a printed copy, then visit Cambridge City Council‘s Customer Services Centre on Regent Street, the Guildhall, or the Council’s South Area Office on Cherry Hinton Road.

They are proposing to keep Queen Edith’s in the South Cambridgeshire constituency, even though new areas are going in, such as Teversham and Fulbourn, and its western flank is being converted into a brand new constituency to be called St Neots. It would seem more logical to move one of the wards in the east of the city – moving the village of Cherry Hinton, for example, would maintain the right numbers in Cambridge and South Cambs, and make more sense geographically.

There will be a series of local hearings: the Cambridge one will be at the Gonville Hotel, 10th-11th November. Alternatively, you can comment on line on the Boundary Commission’s website.

Here is my own representation:

Written representation (on initial proposals) [Reference: 008117]


Amanda Taylor

Respondent address:

41 Holbrook Road

Respondent type:

Local councillor or other elected official


Eastern region

Sub region:

Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk


Disagree in part


I propose that the Queen Edith\’s ward be included in the Cambridge parliamentary constituency, and that Cherry Hinton be moved into the South Cambridgeshire constituency, for the following reasons:


Queen Edith\’s has many key characteristics in common with other wards in the Cambridge City constituency:

* represented by Cambridge City councillors, not district councillors;

* all its residents and businesses pay council tax and business rates to, and receive services from Cambridge City Council;

* Queen Edith\’s is a suburb of the city of Cambridge, not a village.


* Queen Edith\’s is flanked by two city wards, Trumpington and Cherry Hinton. Excluding QE from the city constituency leaves an odd gap.

* The South Cambs constituency is shifting eastwards, Cherry Hinton is closer to other wards moving into the new constituency, such as Teversham and Fulbourn.

* Unlike Queen Edith\’s, Cherry Hinton has some streets in the South Cambridgeshire District Council area.

* There are natural boundaries between parts of Cherry Hinton and Cambridge, e.g. quarries. In contrast, the main roads in Queen Edith\’s (Hills Road, Cherry Hinton Road) run through other city wards.


Putting Queen Edith\’s in the Cambridge constituency and Cherry Hinton in South Cambridgeshire would still keep both constituencies within 72,810 – 80,473 electors. South Cambridgeshire is very close to the upper limit: losing Queen Edith\’s and gaining Cherry Hinton would put it nearer the middle of the population range, as QE has more electors than Cherry Hinton.

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   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Chris Rand says:

    Amanda – it’s a daft situation. Having just moved from Cherry Hinton to Queen Edith’s, and now being 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre rather than 45, it does seem absurd that at the same time I’ve been moved *OUT* of the city. I can also say that after nearly 20 years as a Cherry Hinton resident, the villagers there feel more “independent” from the city than those living in Hills Road, etc., who feel very much part of it. I have made my feelings known on the Boundary Commission website, and would encourage others to do the same.

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