Burnham-On-Sea residents can have their say about proposed changes to the local Parliamentary constituency boundary.

As we first reported last year, residents in parts of the Burnham-On-Sea area could be voting for a different MP in future General Elections under plans announced by the Boundary Commission.

Under the proposals, the Wells constituency – which includes Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge – would 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.

The Boundary Commission for England is asking the public to help shape plans to change Parliamentary constituency boundaries as it opens its second consultation.

It follows a decision by Parliament to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is equal, Boundary Commission for England has been asked to make independent recommendations about where the boundaries of English constituencies should be.

An initial 12-week consultation was held in the autumn last year, giving the public the first chance to view and comment on Boundary Commission for England’s plans.

Resients have until 27th March 2017 to go to the Boundary Commission for England’s website, www.bce2018.org.uk, to view and comment on the submissions. You had the chance to tell BCE what you thought about their proposals in the first consultation – this is now your opportunity to tell BCE what you think about other suggestions made during that consultation. You can support counter-proposals, highlight issues with alternative ideas and say where you think the BCE’s original proposals are still the best solution.

Sam Hartley, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for England, said: “Public input is invaluable throughout the 2018 Boundary Review. Comments made during both consultations will help us develop a well-rounded picture of how local communities live and work together across the country. This local knowledge will be essential when we revise our proposals. Any changes will be based on your comments so it’s important to have your say.”

Following the second consultation, the BCE’s assistant commissioners will look through all comments received during both consultations, considering all the evidence submitted. They will then advise the Commission on where they think the proposals should be revised.

Revised proposals will be published as part of a final consultation in late 2017/early 2018 and any further changes made based on comments received. BCE must report to Parliament with its final recommendation in September 2018. If agreed by Parliament, the new constituencies will be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.