Election review comes out against splitting two towns
Rutherglen and Cambuslang will not be split at Westminster elections.
Boundary Commission Scotland published their findings after a review of Scottish constituencies last week.
The proposals, which include the retention of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency, could see the number of Scottish MPs cut from 59 to 53 and the number of MPs cut from 650 to 600 overall.
When the latest boundary review was announced fears had been raised that previous suggestions to place the Cambuslang East council ward in a new Hamilton constituency could be resurrected.
A new Rutherglen and East Kilbride constituency, including Cambuslang West, was also mooted.
These formed parts of draft proposals in 2012, when the Conservative-led coalition first announced plans to cut the number of MPs.
But the Lib Dems, who were in coalition at the time, refused to back the plans and the review was shelved.
It was resurrected again when the Tories won a majority at Parliament last year.
Two of Scotland’s constituencies (Na h-Eileanan an Iar and Orkney and Shetland) are defined in legislation and were not subject to change.
The proposed constituencies must not exceed 13,000 square kilometres and have between 71,031 and 78,507 electors, except in occasional circumstances.
Councillor Robert Brown, who led opposition to the last proposal, said he hoped the idea of splitting Rutherglen and Cambuslang had been “consigned to the dustbin”.
He added: “These are only initial proposals but I think, at least in our area, they will broadly stand up to scrutiny.
“It is really important that parliamentary representatives are able to speak for identified communities, while parliamentary constituencies are also an important recognition of community identity.
“I think the Boundary Commission have saved themselves a lot of trouble too.
“If they had continued the proposals to split Rutherglen and Cambuslang into different seats they would have faced a vigorous fight by Liberal Democrats, along with many other local people.”
Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Margaret Ferrier was pleased to see the seat retained but said the cut in MP numbers was wrong.
“The proposed boundary change for Rutherglen and Hamilton West is certainly a lot more sensible than the previous abandoned one, which would have seen the constituency split right up the middle, potentially separating communities.
“Nevertheless these proposals to cut the number of elected representatives in Scotland are wholly unacceptable.
“The number of ministers will not change accordingly and there will be fewer backbench MPs to scrutinise the work of the Government.”
Scotland currently accounts for 9.1 per cent of MPs but if the changes go through that will be cut to 8.8 per cent.
A consultation period on the proposals will run until January 17. Members of the public are encouraged to make their views known and public events have been arranged.
Go to www.bcs2018.org.uk for more information.
These are only initial proposals but they stand up to scrutiny