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Two weeks left to have your say in our secondary consultation on new constituencies

Have you had your say yet?

There’s now just under two weeks remaining to submit your response in the public consultation on constituency boundaries, and we’re looking forward to hearing from more people before the consultation closes on 4 April.

Last summer, the Boundary Commission for England published its initial proposals for the new map of constituency boundaries across the country. During the first consultation on these proposals, the Commission received over 34,400 responses from the public. A secondary consultation on the proposed changes is currently underway. As part of this, the Commission is holding public hearings across the country to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Last week, I had the pleasure of chairing the first Eastern region public hearing, which took place at Cambridge. As Lead Assistant Commissioner for the Eastern region, I found it invaluable to hear the different perspectives which were put forward over the course of the hearing. I heard from MPs, councillors, and local residents, from a range of ages and backgrounds.

The Commission’s goal is to ensure that the constituencies it recommends reflects local communities as far as possible, while staying within the requirements set by Parliament for the 2023 Boundary Review. I am grateful to those who took the time to attend, as the contributions I have heard so far from the public highlight the importance of the consultation process. These insights will help us to improve the proposals by making us aware of local knowledge which, while important, isn’t immediately apparent by looking at a map. I was struck by the variety of topics touched on by speakers – things such as education, leisure, shopping and transport. This input on local ties is helpful in providing the Commission with a more complete idea of how local communities are shaped in an area.

I have chaired a second hearing at Southend-on-Sea today, and will then travel to Ipswich for the final Eastern region public hearing this Thursday and Friday. At the time of writing, we do have speaking slots available at Ipswich, and I encourage you to register to speak – we also do our best to accommodate those who wish to drop in on the day. You can also attend in person to observe and listen to the views expressed by others, without making your own speech if you prefer not to.

Over the final two weeks of the secondary consultation, the Commission is holding hearings in Reading, Gloucester, Ipswich, Ashford, Newcastle, Bath, Middlesbrough and Dorchester. To book a ten minute slot to speak, you can register here. Please do attend and share your thoughts about the constituency proposals, which are available to view online on the consultation website here. You can also have your say online through the ‘make a comment’ button, or send your views in writing to the Commission via email or letter. This consultation is your opportunity to help shape the parliamentary constituencies in your area, and I encourage you to get involved before the closing date of 4 April.