Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ending the North East Derbyshire Constituency

 Outline mapAbove - the current N.E. Derbyshire Constituency

If my calculations are correct, I give below the way in which the Boundary Commission’s current proposals would divide up (and thus end) the North East Derbyshire Parliamentary Constituency – which in various shapes has been in existence since 1885.

Numbers on the electoral register would be transferred as follows.
(1) To a newly named Bolsover and Dronfield Constituency – 35,114 (i.e. 47.8% of the NE Derbyshire electorate)
(2) To a newly named Alfreton and Clay Cross Constituency – 20,435 (27.8%)
(3) To the existing Derbyshire Dales Constituency – 13,415 (18.3%)
(4) To the existing Chesterfield Constituency – 4,378 (6.0%).

The NE Derbyshire District Council would then be split in the following dramatic way between Constituencies (although it already laps over the current NED Constituency Boundaries in places) –
(1) To Alfreton and Clay Cross – 32,080 (41,5%)
(2) To Bolsover and Dronfield – 31,761 (41.1%)
(3) To Derbyshire Dales – 13,415 (17.4%)

Submissions about the current proposals can be made to the Boundary Commission up to the 5th December, with their nearest public hearing being held in Derby on 27 and 28 October.

My main concerns about the new arrangments are (a) that the number of MPs are being reduced from 650 to 600. In effect this will remove 50 MPs from the back-benches and adds to the power and influence of front benchers. The quotas for the size of constituencies will also be based on the numbers of people who have registered to vote and not upon those who are entitled to vote. Improved registration procedures should, of course, be brought into operation to close the gap between these two groups. But in the meantime, we should not operate under an added unfairness. Let us cover all who could qualify to vote.

The Boundary Commission was also supposed to take into account the boundaries of District and Borough Councils and cut across them as little as possible whilst meeting requirements in term of the size of electorates. As the NE Derbyshire District is being divided into three large Constituency chunks, this dramatically violates such a requirement.

The Commission’s Report can be found via this link.

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