New boundary proposals 'run against' Tories' levelling up agenda, says MP

Controversial plans to redraw the country's political map "run against" the Government's levelling up agenda, a Black Country MP has said.

Plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries are proving controversial
Plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries are proving controversial

Pat McFadden has urged caution over proposals by the Boundary Commission, which will see parts of the Midlands and the North lose seats while areas in the South gain.

The independent commission is overseeing the changes, which are intended to even up the number of registered voters in each constituency to between 69,724 and 77,062.

Mr McFadden, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: "The overall effect of this across the country is a shift of representation from the North and Midlands to the South of England.

"That seems to run against the Government's stated agenda of tackling inequality and levelling up."

Pat McFadden has said the changes go against the Government's levelling up agenda

The proposals mark the first major changes to the UK's electoral map since 2010. Less than 10 per cent of current constituencies would remain unchanged, including the Staffordshire seats of Cannock Chase and Burton.

The North East will lose two seats, as will the North West, while London will gain two seats. The South West is lined up to get three extra seats and the South East will go up by seven.

All Black Country seats would see changes.

Dudley South would be wiped from the map, with part of it going into a new Kingswinford and South Staffordshire seat.

Other changes would see Dudley North renamed Dudley, and expanded to take in Brockmoor and Pensnett; while Walsall would be left with two newly named constituencies, Bloxwich and Brownhills, and Walsall.

Mr McFadden's constituency would lose Blakenhall and Coseley East – both Labour strongholds – and gain the three Walsall wards of Bentley and Darlaston North, Darlaston South and Willenhall South, which are also traditionally Labour areas.

Boundary Commission Secretary Tim Bowden said the proposals should be viewed as "initial thoughts".

He said the commission wanted to hear the views of the public to "ensure that we get the new boundaries for parliamentary constituencies right".

The changes are scheduled to come in by July 2023.

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