Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Our MP Speaks

No - this isn't one of my have-a-go at Sheryll Murray postings (although I'm not going soft), but about important changes that the government is proposing to constituency boundaries.

The website "" reports on a brief exchange in the House yesterday during the Parliamentary Constituencies and Voting Reform Bill debate.

Many readers will already know that South East Cornwall (that's us here in Millbrook amongst other settlements) is quite likely to end up being re-drawn to include a large chunk of Plymouth, making a positively unworkable mess of urban and rural populations and interests, with a single MP being obliged to represent the interests of two very different communities and to liaise with two entirely separate local authorities. If that isn't a genuine dog's dinner of an idea, I don't know what is.

Imagine, for example, a putative Devonport/Plymouth/Millbrook constituency needing 400 extra houses to cater for the growing urban population - how is an MP to address that one? He/she will have to try and get those houses built somewhere. Let's look at where there is relatively plentiful greenfield (i.e. cheap) land to develop. Oh yes, Millbrook, Torpoint, Rame...

'Nough said, methinks.

Anyway Mrs Murray stood up in the House yesterday with a minor interjection and it can, at the least, be said that she doesn't want the boundary change either. It remains to be seen whether she will have the courage of her convictions and vote against her government should Cornwall not be made a special case and Cornish constituencies are given a guarantee that they will remain contained wholly within the county .

Sheryll Murray (Con - Cornwall S.E.) "Does my hon. Friend agree that it would be extremely unfair to expect one of the Cornish constituencies-his, mine, or one of the others-to cross the historic Tamar border that we already have?"

George Eustace (Con - Camborne and Redruth) "My hon. Friend makes an absolutely valid point. Cornwall is a special case. It is not just a normal county-it is a duchy. That is certainly something that should be considered in Committee."

There we go, that was it. Exciting stuff, eh? Must say, it seems unlikley that the Camborne and Redruth constituency boundary will cross the Tamar (see map above).

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