Have your say on boundary changes
Sir – There appears to have been little local comment or debate about the Boundary Commission for Scotland’s proposed changes to the constituencies in which we live and the final date for responding (December 11) is rapidly approaching.
Readers will recall that the consultation is taking place as the UK Government seeks to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and make all constituencies have electorates of between 71,031 and 78,507.
In our region the BCS continues to tinker with constituency names and slice up wards (Lochar and Mid and Upper Nithsdale). The latter simply appears to be to meet the seemingly pretty arbitrary but legally required electorate numbers, rather than take account of our communities.
That may be okay for the number crunchers in their Edinburgh office but is more of a concern for local people who feel part of natural communities.
The original proposals were for one constituency in our region to be called Dumfries and Galloway and is now for it to be Galloway and Dumfries.
The other was to be called Clydesdale and Eskdale but the proposal is that it now be called Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire South East.
Despite past and current controversies about parliamentarians, I’m still baffled as to why the number of MPs is being reduced whilst the population grows increasing the number of people they represent and their caseloads.
Also, why the House of Lords has been allowed to grow to around 800 whilst remaining unelected, unaccountable and, all too often, elevation to the Lords being the reward for party faithfulness or donations.
I’m also still trying to fathom out why forms of proportional representation have been considered appropriate for elections to the Scottish Parliament, European Parliament and local elections here in Scotland but the first past the post system is maintained for the UK parliament, which in effect means that marginal constituencies hold the real power,
Those misgivings about our democracy will, I hope, be dealt with at some point but the immediate need is to make sure that we try to influence the Boundary Commission for Scotland in their current constituency proposals as it will be a good while before we get another chance. Their website is www.bcs2018.org.uk and they can be emailed at comments@ scottishboundaries.gov.uk.
Seat of power The Houses of Parliament where the number of MPs is to be reduced