Proposals for major boundary changes have been unveiled this week that could see the people of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge represented by an MP covering Bridgwater instead of Wells at the next General Election.
The Boundary Commission for England has unveiled proposals to level up the number of electors in each constituency across the UK by redrawing and renaming some parliamentary seats. Public consultation is set to take place before any final decisions.
Under the proposals just published, Bridgwater would be disconnected from West Somerset and would cover Bridgwater, Burnham-On-Sea, Berrow, Highbridge, Huntspill, North Petherton, Puriton, Woolavington, King’s Isle and Quantocks, as shown below.
The proposed dividing line between the new Bridgwater and Wells constituencies would run along the edge of Burnham-On-Sea, from Stoddens Lane along the Frank Foley Parkway to Highbridge, as shown below.
Brent Knoll and Lympsham would become part of the separate Wells constituency. While West Huntspill would be in the new Bridgwater constituency, East Huntspill would be in the Wells constituency.
Somerset’s current five constituencies have up to 88,000 voters while the Boundary Commission is seeking to redraw the map so that each seat would have between 69,724 and 77,062 registered voters each.
Burnham’s current MP, James Heappey, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Most importantly, the redrawing of constituency boundaries will level up the size of constituencies across the United Kingdom and address the democratic deficit.”
“In that respect, it is great news that Somerset gains two additional voices in Westminster. The next step is to look carefully at the Boundary Commission’s recommendations to make sure that they work for local communities.”
Proposed dividing line between new constituencies:
The proposed dividing line between the new Bridgwater and Wells constituencies would run along the edge of Burnham-On-Sea. Bridgwater would be on the left of the red line and Wells on the right. It would stretch from the junction of Stoddens Lane and Stoddens Road and run south along Love Lane to Burnham’s Tesco roundabout.
The dividing line between the new Bridgwater and Wells constituencies would then run along the Frank Foley Parkway, then across a field to Pople’s Bow, up to the Aldi roundabout on the A38.
The proposed boundary line then runs along Pillmore Lane and Isleport Road, and across the fields, to incorporate new future homes alongside Isleport Road.
The new Bridgwater constituency line then crosses Mark Road and loops around the Walrow Industrial Estate before running along the A38 in a southerly direction.
How to have your say on the proposals:
The proposals are now subject to a first round of consultation for eight weeks until 2nd August.
Visit http://bcereviews.org.uk and then enter your postcode to display the detailed map of changes, then click ‘make a comment’.
A second round of consultation with public hearings will get underway in Spring 2022, followed by a final four-week consultation on revised plans in autumn 2022.
Final recommendations are due by 1st July 2023, after which the Government will have four months to implement them.