Boundary changes criticised as 'untidy mess' in Black Country and Staffordshire

MPs have hit out at “untidy and unnecessary” changes that will redraw the region’s political map.

There are 650 MPs in the UK - although far fewer are currently allowed in the Commons due to social distancing
There are 650 MPs in the UK - although far fewer are currently allowed in the Commons due to social distancing

The Black Country and Staffordshire will lose two parliamentary constituencies under plans drawn up by the Boundary Commission in its latest review.

Dudley South will go completely, its areas split between three other constituencies, while Walsall’s three seats will become two, with parts of the borough moved into Wolverhampton constituencies.

The proposals will also see Kingswinford lumped in with South Staffordshire, while the Dudley Council ward of Coseley East will move from Wolverhampton South East to West Bromwich West.

The changes – which are out for consultation – aim to ensure that all 650 seats in the UK have an electorate of between 69,724 and 77,062.

Some MPs in the region have criticised the plans.

They include Warley MP John Spellar, who will see his constituency expanded and renamed Smethwick and Rowley Regis.

The Labour MP said: “The commission have got themselves into such a tight spot with the numbers that they have not been able to do sensible changes.

“Boundary changes always create some difficulties, but these proposals are gratuitous and unnecessary in many cases.

“It is untidy and doesn’t make for effective representation.”

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said he would be opposing the proposals for the Lichfield seat he has represented since it was reformed in 1997.

He said: "Frankly, it’s a nonsense. It bears all the hallmarks of boundaries drawn in the 19th and 20th centuries by Whitehall mapmakers in days of empire without any knowledge or care of the regions and people concerned."

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