Pro­vide he­li­copters for our ru­ral MPs

The Oban Times - - NEWS - Ian Reid, Ard­con­nel Road, Oban.

Sir, The MPs Bren­dan O’Hara and Ian Black­ford are right to draw at­ten­tion to the ge­o­graph­i­cal prob­lems aris­ing from the pro­posed changes to par­lia­men­tary con­stituen­cies in west­ern and north­ern Scot­land ( The Oban

Times, Oc­to­ber 27). There is, how­ever, a need to recog­nise that elec­tors need rep­re­sen­ta­tion, not over- or un­der-rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and low pop­u­la­tion den­sity brings its prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly given the to­pog­ra­phy and its con­trol over land­based travel.

Af­ter all, res­i­dents of Glas­gow might feel un­happy if their MP rep­re­sented 80,000, while those of the High­lands each rep­re­sented much fewer, un­less, per­haps, the ocean in­ter­venes.

For the High­lands, as sig­nif­i­cant an is­sue be­sides time spent trav­el­ling the con­stituen­cies is that in­di­vid­u­als may have lim­ited ac­cess to their MPs in the event that they wish to raise per­sonal prob­lems.

This, it­self, might be con­sid­ered as a se­ri­ous lim­i­ta­tion on fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Ex­ac­er­bat­ing the is­sue is that lim­ited broad­band in the High­lands and Is­lands can of­ten pre­clude use of the in­ter­net as a means of face-to-face con­sul­ta­tion.

Given the mul­ti­ple ge­o­graph­i­cal prob­lems, it might be con­sid­ered rea­son­able that MPs with ge­o­graph­i­cally ex­ten­sive con­stituen­cies such Ar­gyll and Bute be pro­vided with he­li­copter trans­port to serve their widely dis­persed con­stituents.

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