September 14, 2016
Boundary shake-up may change election map in Burnham-On-Sea area

Residents in parts of the Burnham-On-Sea area could be voting for a different MP at the next General Election under plans announced by the Boundary Commission this week.

Under the proposals, the Wells constituency - which includes Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge - will be redrawn.

The seat, overseen by MP James Heappey, stands to gain an area containing the villages of East and West Huntspill, Pawlett, Puriton and Woolavington - and lose Shepton Mallet and the Mendip villages to the north.

The new constituency would also gain voters in the Sedgemoor District Council wards of Burnham Marine and Knoll to the south and east of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge. These areas are currently cut in two, with people in part of the ward voting in the Wells Constituency and the others voting in the Bridgwater and West Somerset seat, where the MP is Ian Liddell-Grainger.

Burnham's MP James Heappey told last night: "I love serving as the Member of Parliament for all who live in the current Wells Constituency and my first preference would be to continue serving all of these communities in the next Parliament. But I accept that we must equalise the size of all constituencies and so boundaries must be withdrawn."

"The early proposals mostly maintain the Wells Constituency and whilst I would be sad to no longer represent Shepton Mallet and the Mendip villages to the north, it would be an absolute honour to represent the residents of Huntspill, Pawlett, Woolavington and Puriton instead."

"That said, these are merely the initial proposals and there is a strong chance of revision once the consultation is complete. Whatever the commission decides, I will serve my existing constituency to the best of my ability and very much hope to serve the new he future."

Across the UK, the plans will see the number of parliamentary constituencies fall significantly, reducing the number of MPs in Parliament by 50 to 600. The shake-up - drawn up by the independent Boundary Commissions of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - could have a big impact on the outcome of the 2020 General Election nationally if the plans go ahead.


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