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Who's for the chop in Midlands boundary changes?

Bilston | | Published:

Boundary changes at the next election might mean five MPs could lose their seats, as Daniel Wainwright reports.

Boundary changes at the next election might mean five MPs could lose their seats, as

Daniel Wainwright

reports.

Before they cosied up together on the steps of Number 10 there was one thing David Cameron and Nick Clegg definitely agreed on - with 650 of them there are too many MPs.

Even before the expenses scandal rocked the mother of all Parliaments Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg wanted 150 of them to go.

Mr Cameron had suggested there be a cut of 65.

As it stands now in 2015 the plan is to get rid of 50 and plans are likely to favour using the number of electors on the register to work out boundary changes.

But under one proposal by an influential thinktank, five MPs could go from the Black Country and Staffordshire.

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The Electoral Reform Society has drawn up what it says is the fairest way of redistributing people so that each MP does not have too high a workload.

It would mean Wolverhampton would have just two MPs instead of three and one of them would end up looking after some Walsall matters.

Residents in the constituency currently called Wolverhampton South West, where the Tory Paul Uppal is the MP, would find themselves split between a new Wolverhampton constituency and Dudley.

Even though residents in Penn and Blakenhall would still get the bins collected by Wolverhampton City Council, the Dudley MP would look after casework for both areas.

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Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, could see her constituency become Wednesfield and Willenhall if the Electoral Reform Society's proposal is adopted.

She said: "MPs will find it difficult to provide a good service if they have to straddle two different council areas."

Chris Kelly, the Tory MP for Dudley South, said: "The new boundaries will be drawn up by the Boundary Commission which is completely independent of parties and government.

"So I am not sure why the Electoral Reform Society has done this.

"Of course they are entitled to their view but the decision on this will not be made for a few years yet."

Merge

The coalition government is promoting a Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill which would create the next boundary review.

If it goes ahead the changes will be in place in time for the next election in 2015.

But it will mean a large number of seats will merge.

Under the Electoral Reform Society's version Stourbridge could become part of the Halesowen constituency so there will be a question over which of the newly elected Tories - Halesowen and Rowley Regis's James Morris and Stourbridge's Margot James - gets to stay on.

The same situation could happen in Sandwell where West Bromwich will be just one seat instead of two, posing a question over the future career prospects of LabourMPs Tom Watson and Adrian Bailey.

Over in Walsall, Valerie Vaz and David Winnick face the merging of Walsall North and South into a single seat while Aldridge and Brownhills, held by Tory Richard Shepherd, looks set to get bigger.

Stafford would end up split between a new Stafford and Rugeley seat as well as part of the new Stone and Uttoxeter.

Keith Best from the Electoral Reform Society said: "The government's stated intention is to redraw constituencies and make them equal-sized. The proposed legislation, in its present form, cannot achieve this goal. Their decision to build seats using registered voters rather than the adult population is a recipe for bloated constituencies packed with invisible citizens."

The constituencies as they are now

1. Wolverhampton South West - Paul Uppal (Con)

2. Wolverhampton North East - Emma Reynolds (Lab)

3. Wolverhampton South East - Pat McFadden (Lab)

4. Dudley North - Ian Austin (Lab)

5. Dudley South - Chris Kelly (Con)

6. Halesowen and Rowley Regis - James Morris (Con)

7. Stourbridge - Margot James (Con)

8. Walsall North - David Winnick (Lab)

9. Walsall South - Valerie Vaz (Lab)

10. Aldridge and Brownhills - Richard Shepherd (Con)

11. West Bromwich East - Tom Watson (Lab)

12. West Bromwich West - Adrian Bailey (Lab)

13. Warley - John Spellar (Lab)

14. Wyre Forest - Mark Garnier (Con)

15. Cannock Chase - Aidan Burley (Con)

16. Lichfield - Michael Fabricant (Con)

17. Stafford - Jeremy Lefroy (Con)

18. Stone - Bill Cash (Con)

19. South Staffordshire - Gavin Williamson (Con)

The proposed new constituencies and the wards they contain:

Wolverhampton

Bushbury North, Bushbury South and Low Hill, Fallings Park, Graiseley, Merry Hill, Oxley Park, St Peter's, Tettenhall Regis, Tettenhall Wightwick

Wednesfield & Willenhall

Bilston East, Bilston North, Darlaston South East Park, Ettingshall, Heath Town, Wednesfield North, Wednesfield South, Willenhall South,

Walsall & Pelsall

Bentley and Darlaston North, Birchills Leamore, Blakenall, Bloxwich East, Bloxwich West, Brownhills, Pelsall, Short Heath, Willenhall North

Halesowen & Stourbridge

Belle Vale, Cradley and Foxcote, Halesowen North Halesowen South, Hayley Green and Cradley South, Lye and Wollescote, Norton, Pedmore and Stourbridge East, Wollaston and Stourbridge Town

Brownhills & Aldridge

Aldridge Central and South, Aldridge North and Walsall Wood, Friar Park, Paddock Palfrey Pleck, Rushall-Shelfield, St Matthew's, Wednesbury North

Netherton, Woodside and St Andrews & Amblecote

Amblecote, Brierley Hill, Brockmoor and Pensnett, Kingswinford North and Wall Heath, Kingswinford South, Netherton, Woodside and St. Andrews, Quarry Bank and Dudley Wood, St. Thomas's, Wordsley

Dudley

Blakenhall, Castle and Priory, Coseley East, Gornal, Penn, Sedgley, Spring Vale, St. James's, Upper Gornal and Woodsetton

Oldbury/Smethwick

Blackheath, Cradley Heath and Old Hill, Greets Green and Lyng, Langley, Oldbury, Rowley, Smethwick, St Pauls Tividale

Leek & Biddulph

Cheadle North East, Cheadle South East, Cheadle West, Checkley, Forsbrook, Fulford

Kidderminster & Stourport-on-Severn

Aggborough and Spennells, Areley Kings, Bewdley and Arley, Blakedown and Chaddesley, Broadwaters, Cookley, Franche, Greenhill, Habberley and Blakebrook, Lickhill, Mitton, Offmore and Comberton, Oldington and Foley Park, Rock, Sutton Park, Uffdown, Wolverley, Wribbenhall,

Stone (Stafford) & Uttoxeter

Bagots, Barlaston and Oulton, Chartley, Church Eaton, Colton and Mavesyn Ridware, Eccleshall, Gnosall and Woodseaves, Haywood and Hixon, Loggerheads and Whitmore, Milwich, Seighford, St. Michael's, Stonefield and Christchurch, Swynnerton

West Bromwich & Yew Tree

Charlemont with Grove Vale, Great Barr with Yew Tree, Great Bridge, Hateley Heath, Newton, Princes End, Tipton Green, Wednesbury South, West Bromwich Central

Stafford & Rugeley

Baswich, Brereton and Ravenhill, Common, Coton, Etching Hill and The Heath, Forebridge, Hagley, Highfields and Western Downs, Holmcroft, Littleworth, Manor, Milford, Penkridge North East and Acton Trussell, Penkridge South East, Penkridge West, Penkside, Rowley, Tillington, Weeping Cross, Western Springs

Cannock & Burntwood

All Saints, Armitage with Handsacre, Boney Hay, Burntwood Central, Cannock East, Cannock North, Chase Terrace, Chasetown, Great Wyrley Town, Hawks Green, Heath Hayes East and Wimblebury, Hednesford Green Heath, Hednesford North, Hednesford South, Highfield, Longdon, Norton Canes, Rawnsley, Summerfield

Burton Upon Trent & Lichfield

Alrewas and Fradley, Boley Park, Chadsmead, Curborough, King's Bromley, Leomansley, Needwood, Stowe, Hammerwich, St John's

Great Wyrley & Wombourne

Bilbrook, Brewood and Coven, Cannock South, Cannock West, Cheslyn Hay North and Saredon, Cheslyn Hay South, Codsall North, Codsall South, Essington, Featherstone and Shareshill, Great Wyrley Landywood, Himley and Swindon, Huntington and Hatherton, Kinver, Pattingham and Patshull, Perton Dippons, Perton East, Perton, Lakeside, Trysull and Seisdon, Wheaton Aston, Bishopswood and Lapley, Wombourne North and Lower Penn, Wombourne South East, Wombourne South West

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