Letter: 20 April 2012

Changes to boundary are not so minor

YOU correctly report that the Boundary Commission’s review of constituency boundaries continues at pace (Medway Messenger, April 16).

However, I would be very reluctant to describe the proposed changes in Medway as “minor”.

While there was no attempt to reduce the number of constituencies to two as some had predicted, the Boundary Commission still seems intent on bulldozing through community ties and identities which have been naturally evolving for decades.

I doubt, for example, that residents of Hempstead and Wigmore, with Gillingham and Rainham postcodes, as former constituents of Gillingham Borough Council would consider “minor” the proposal to incorporate them in to Chatham and Aylesford.

Nor, too, would the residents of Chatham Central, the heart of Chatham, or Luton and Wayfield consider “minor” the proposal to remove them from Chatham and Aylesford in favour of Rochester and Strood and Gillingham and Rainham respectively.

The Boundary Commission has an important responsibility to reduce the number of constituencies and normalise their electorates, but the complaints raised are not unique to Medway and, instead, are repeated around the UK.

Sadly it is the end product of an office of statisticians showing scant regard and little interest in the communities they are charged with delicately organising.

Alan W. Collins, by email