REVISED proposals for a major shake-up of the electoral map will still see Evesham and Pershore share the same MP for the first time in more than two decades.
The Boundary Commission has today published its revised plans for parliamentary constituencies after it was tasked by the Government to slash the number of MPs from 650 to 600 in time for the next general election in 2022.
This latest review follows proposals the commission released last year to create an ‘Evesham and South Warwickshire’ seat- this has now been scrapped.
Instead, under the revised proposals, the current Mid Worcestershire constituency would be carved up and renamed the Evesham constituency.
About 40 per cent of the current constituency would be moved into a new Bromsgrove and Droitwich seat, including Droitwich Spa and a number of neighbouring wards.
The new Evesham seat would gain all of the Wychavon District Council wards west of Evesham, as well as the southern Malvern Hills District Council wards including Upton upon Severn and up to, but not including, Great Malvern.
This means that Evesham and Pershore would elect the same Member of Parliament for the first time since the former South Worcestershire seat was axed in 1997.
Ever since the axing, voters in Evesham have elected Conservative MP Sir Peter Luff and current MP Nigel Huddleston as part of the Mid Worcestershire seat, while Pershore voters elected Sir Michael Spicer and current Tory MP Harriett Baldwin as part of the West Worcestershire seat.
Mrs Baldwin’s current West Worcestershire seat would be abolished and in its place the Malvern and Ledbury constituency would be created.
The proposals could see Mr Huddleston and Mrs Baldwin both facing battles to remain as Members of Parliament.
However, it is not even clear if these proposals will ever me approved.
In 2013 MPs approved in principle reducing the number of constituencies. But it is unclear whether these fresh proposals would get the backing of a majority of MPs as the DUP, who the Conservatives rely on for support, voted against the last boundary review.
Responding to the proposals, Mr Huddleston said: “In the three years that I have been serving Mid Worcestershire I have developed strong relationships across the breadth of the constituency and I would be delighted if it was possible for it to continue in its current form.
“However, I support the principle of fairer and more equal sized constituencies and recognise that this will inevitably involve some significant changes to constituency boundaries.
“The proposals are also subject to a parliamentary vote and there is no guarantee the proposed changes will go through. Whatever the outcome, I will continue to serve all my constituents equally right up to the next general election in May 2022.”
The Boundary Commission is now consulting on its proposals for eight weeks which ends on Monday, December 11.
Visit www.bce2018.org.uk to have your say on the proposals.