Who we are and what we do
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is an independent and impartial non-departmental public body, which is responsible for reviewing Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England.
The 2023 Review
We have the task of periodically reviewing the boundaries of all the Parliamentary constituencies in England. We are currently conducting a review on the basis of legislative rules most recently updated by Parliament in 2020. Those rules tell us that we must make recommendations for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries by 1 July 2023. While retaining the overall number of constituencies across the UK at 650, the rules apply a distribution formula that results in an increase in the number of constituencies in England (from 533 to 543). The rules also require that every recommended constituency across the UK – apart from five specified exceptions (two of them in England) – must have an electorate that is no smaller than 69,724 and no larger than 77,062.
We published our initial proposals for the new Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England on 8 June 2021. Information about the proposed constituencies is now available on our website at www.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk
What is changing in the South East region?
The South East has been allocated 91 constituencies – an increase of seven from the current number. This includes two protected constituencies on the Isle of Wight.
Our proposals leave 13 of the 84 existing constituencies wholly unchanged, and three unchanged except to realign constituency boundaries with new or prospective local government ward boundaries.
As it has not always been possible to allocate whole numbers of constituencies to individual counties, we have grouped some county council and unitary authority areas into sub-regions. The number of constituencies allocated to each sub-region is determined by the combined electorate of the local authorities they contain.
Consequently, it has been necessary to propose some constituencies that cross county council or unitary authority boundaries, although we have sought to keep such crossings to a minimum.
|Sub-region||Existing allocation||Proposed allocation|
|Berkshire1, Hampshire2, and Surrey||37||39|
|Isle of Wight||1||2|
In Berkshire, Hampshire, and Surrey, it has been necessary to propose two constituencies that cross county boundaries. We have proposed one constituency that contains electors from both Berkshire and Surrey, which combines the town of Windsor and the town of Egham. We have also proposed one constituency that contains electors from both Surrey and Hampshire, which combines the town of Bordon from the district of East Hampshire in a constituency with the towns of Farnham and Haslemere in Surrey’s Borough of Waverley.
In Sussex, it has been necessary to propose one constituency that crosses the boundary between East Sussex and West Sussex. We have proposed that this constituency contain electors from three districts (Lewes, Mid Sussex, and Wealden), combining the towns of East Grinstead and Uckfield.
In Buckinghamshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, and Oxfordshire it has been possible to propose a pattern of constituencies that is within the boundaries of each county.
In formulating our initial proposals we identified that it was necessary to divide a limited number of wards between constituencies. We propose dividing three wards as part of our initial proposals for the South East.
How to have your say
We are consulting on our initial proposals for an eight-week period, from 8 June 2021 to 2 August 2021. We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more views we hear, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals. Our consultation portal at www.bcereviews.org.uk has more information about our proposals and how to give us your views on them. You can also follow us on Twitter @BCEReviews or at facebook.com/BCEReviews.Back to top
1 Comprising the unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham, hereafter referred to as Berkshire.
2 Comprising the unitary authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton, and the county council of Hampshire, hereafter referred to as Hampshire.
3 Comprising the unitary authorities of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, hereafter referred to as Buckinghamshire.
4 Comprising the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove and the county councils of East Sussex and West Sussex, hereafter referred to as ‘Sussex’.
5 Comprising the unitary authority of Medway and the county council of Kent, hereafter referred to as Kent.