The Boundary Commission resumes its consultation, but Meriden constituency is still under threat of being broken up.
On 28th February the boundary commission opened the second and final phase of consultation on the changes being made to Parliamentary constituencies. At present, the Commissions draft proposals recommend that Meriden constituency should be split into three new constituencies;
- ‘North Solihull and Chelmsley Wood’: to include Castle Bromwich, Bickenhill , Lyndon and Elmdon wards, as well as the Birmingham ward of Sheldon
- ‘Coventry West and Meriden’: to include Knowle, Balsall Common, Meriden and much of the existing Coventry North West constituency
- ‘South Solihull and Shirley’: to include Solihull Town Centre, Shirley, Dorridge, Blythe, and the Tanworth- in-Arden ward from Stratford-upon-Avon.
I am grateful to residents who took the trouble to comment on phase one of the consultation. However, we all need to act to feed in our thoughts during the equally important second stage which will ultimately pave the way for the drawing up of the final map.
As your MP, I want to ensure that these proposals provide local residents with fair and equal representation. However, I am very concerned that the Solihull and Meriden Parliamentary constituencies would be split over four local authorities and this goes against the boundary commission's aim to respect existing local government boundaries. Further, that because communities such as Knowle and Meriden receive very few, if any, public services from Coventry these communities risk being a smaller voice in the context of the needs of a larger city.
Under these plans, much of the work done to unite the Borough could be undone by the political separation of Meriden constituencies in these otherwise close communities. It’s a shame that after striving so hard to avoid using the terms north and south Solihull, the constituency of North Solihull and Chelmsley Wood, by its own configuration, deals a blow to this.
I have already made a number of representations to the Commission on behalf of local residents, but I am concerned that without the support of local residents from each and every local community, that the Meriden and Solihull constituencies face a real threat. For that reason, I am encouraging local residents to take part in this consultation by signing my petition, or contacting the Boundary Commissions via their website; https://www.bce2018.org.uk/ or by writing to them: Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ.
These proposals are not case in stone, but there is now only a two week window to submit your views. Do not hesitate to have your say today!