Town could be split in half

Bound­ary re­view con­cern

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Cam­bus­lang could be split down the middle at UK gen­eral elec­tions when the elec­toral map of the coun­try is re­drawn.

The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion con­firmed last month they were em­bark­ing on a re­view of the na­tion’s par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies.

With the num­ber of seats set to be cut to 600, Scot­land will see its share fall from 59 to 53.

And that has sparked con­cerns the com­mis­sion could re­visit plans first mooted four years ago of tak­ing the Cam­bus­lang East coun­cil ward into a Hamil­ton con­stituency.

A new Ruther­glen and East Kil­bride con­stituency, in­clud­ing Cam­bus­lang West, was also sug­gested.

The bizarre plan was shelved when the Con­ser­va­tive’s coali­tion part­ners, the Lib Dems, with­drew their sup­port for the re­view.

But with a Tory ma­jor­ity, the 2018 re­view is likely to take place.

Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown op­posed the plan in 2012, in­stead sug­gest­ing a seat that in­cluded Ruther­glen, Cam­bus­lang, Both­well, Ud­dingston and Blan­tyre.

This week, he told the Re­former: “The pro­posal for the area was crazy and I think a fairly good ar­gu­ment could be made against it.

“I per­son­ally think it’s a real threat, it would bear no re­la­tion to the com­mu­ni­ties re­al­ity.

“You’d imag­ine this will come back again un­less an al­ter­na­tive is made.”

Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West MP, Mar­garet Fer­rier, con­firmed she was against any changes, say­ing fo­cus in­stead should be on scrap­ping the House of Lords.

She added: “I will con­tinue to op­pose plans to the re­duce the num­ber of Scot­tish con­stituen­cies, and the need for a bound­ary re­view.

“The Tory govern­ment has ab­so­lutely no demo­cratic man­date to di­min­ish Scot­land’s voice at West­min­ster by fur­ther re­duc­ing the num­ber of Scot­tish MPs.”

Any new pro­pos­als will en­sure con­stituen­cies are within five per cent of hav­ing a pop­u­la­tion of 74,769.2, al­though the Scot­tish is­land con­stituen­cies will be un­touched.

Lord Matthews, Deputy Chair of the Bound­ary Com­mis­sion for Scot­land, said: “The rules within which we work put great em­pha­sis on equal elec­torates across the UK, and as a re­sult the re­view is likely to re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant change for many con­stituen­cies in Scot­land.”

A con­sul­ta­tion will take place with the fi­nal pro­pos­als pub­lished in Septem­ber 2018. The new con­stituen­cies will be used at the 2020 gen­eral elec­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www.bcomm-scot­land.gov.uk

It’s a real threat, it would bear no re­la­tion to re­al­ity

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