2023 Boundary Review: Have you submitted your feedback yet?
Glenn Reed, Review Manager
Hearing your feedback on our initial proposals is one of the reasons I enjoy working for the Boundary Commission for England. Some comments are very supportive or relieved; others do not support them and offer alternative solutions. Many express similar concerns in particular areas, whereas others are unique. All of this feedback is valuable. Although we believe the constituencies we propose are appropriate and fair within the constraints as set down in law, we cannot possibly have the same depth of knowledge about community ties as locals themselves. That is why we want to hear from you, via our consultation website bcereviews.org.uk. During the last review, we amended more than half of all the constituencies that we had initially proposed.
This is the fourth review of constituencies on which I have worked, although the recommendations of the previous two were not enacted by Parliament. The methodology has changed as our proposals are now based on new, more precise rules, such as the requirement that every constituency (apart from a handful of exceptions across the UK) must have an electorate that is within 5% of the electorate quota – the average constituency size – which for this review is 73,393. There have also been changes to the technology we use. Our geographic information technology is more sophisticated, enabling us to consider a variety of options with efficiency and produce better maps; the consultation portal also allows the public to easily submit feedback.
Despite these innovations, the core of what we do has not changed. We still continue to carry out our own extensive research of the regions and strive to propose constituencies that both meet the numerical requirements and reflect local and community ties as far as we can.
The review following this will not commence for another eight years, so this will be my last after more than 20 years in the Commission. It has been just about the best job I could have hoped for, and I have always been in awe at the wisdom, skill, expertise and dedication of the individuals working in the team. I know that it is impossible to please everyone – for every proposed change we make (or don’t make) there will always be citizens who either oppose or support that change – but throughout four reviews, I take pride in knowing that we have worked hard to come up with what we believe to be the most practical and fair solutions to enhance democratic representation in the country. I never would have thought that when I wrote my dissertation at university on the public perception of boundaries that I would have ended up working for the BCE!
Go to bcereviews.org.uk to view our proposed constituencies and submit your feedback – you have until 2 August.
This blog is part of a series which aims to illuminate the work going on behind the scenes at the Commission. Keep an eye out on this page to hear from members of the review and corporate teams about their role in the 2023 Boundary Review.