Boundary review

TQEThe Boundary Commission is re-consulting yet again on its new county council division boundaries, following complaints about the last, rather rushed, phase of consultation.

You can see their recommendations on the Boundary Commission website at:

The number of divisions (voting areas) is going down by roughly 10%. Cambridge will in future have only 12 councillors representing it on the County Council instead of 14, as at present.

The big difference for us is that Queen Edith’s no longer appears on the map as a separate division, but would be merged with Trumpington to create a huge double division running from the Cherry Hinton chalk pits up to the M11, projected to contain over 16,000 people by 2020. It would be represented by two county councillors.

As your county councillor, I want Queen Edith’s to stay as a division on its own, as we are very different from Trumpington and the two areas have different priorities and needs. We have suggested that the Boundary Commission should keep the two divisions distinct by drawing a dividing line down Hills Road, where it sat before the last review.

Please have a look and let the Commission know what you think. The last (hopefully!) consultation phase is open until 20th June.

The types of questions the Commission is asking at this stage are:

a.    Do the proposed electoral divisions reflect local communities?

b.    How do you think the proposals can be improved whilst maintaining electoral equality?

c.    Are the names of the proposed divisions right?

To comment:

Write on the Boundary Commission’s website:

email [email protected]

or write to:

The Review Officer (Cambridgeshire), LGBCE, 14th Floor Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP
 Amanda’s LGBCE submission 0516
Please write before 20th June.

Boundary Commission wants to merge Queen Edith’s with Trumpington!

The Boundary Commission has just published yet another proposal for Cambridgeshire county council divisions. This time, they are proposing to create a super-ward comprising Queen Edith’s and Trumpington. Here is a map: as you can see, we would be the largest division in the city, and there would be two county councillors.

You can make a submission on the further draft recommendations up till 30th November by sending an e-mail to [email protected], or by writing in to the following address:

   The Review Officer (Cambridgeshire)
   Local Government Boundary Commission for England
   14th Floor Millbank Tower
   21-24 Millbank
   SW1P 4QP

Queen Edith’s is in Cambridge!

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: