The thinking behind the review of Parliamentary boundaries appears to be spot on. The outcome would improve the democratic process by ensuring that electors are grouped in similar-sized constituencies.
And, while the pressure on the public purse remains as heavy as ever, savings made through a reduction of MPs will also not go amiss
But some of the proposals which have been put forward across The News area appear to have followed the brief without paying too much attention to the reality.
Will the people of Horndean and Fareham really benefit from sharing the same MP? And will the democratic process in Fareham be helped by the local authority being covered by four voices in Westminster?
Is there really any worth, with cost-cutting at the forefront of our minds, in going to the effort and expense of dismantling the North and South seats in Portsmouth, only to replace them with two other seats but this time divided East to West?
And it’s baffling that, having thought it worth forming the new Meon Valley constituency for this year’s general election, it will be booted off the political map.
Fareham council leader Sean Woodward has described the proposals as absurd. And, at this stage, there appears to be no reason to disagree with him.
Arbitrary decisions seem to have been made without any thought of the deal handed out to electors and whether the process ensures smooth links between local and central government.
There has been a long-held concern that people don’t engage in politics, evidenced by falls in turnouts at elections. These proposals are not likely to help voters feel any less disenfranchised.
The only saving grace is that at this stage they are proposals. A visit to the website of the Boundary Commission for England boldly states that people have 83 days left to have their say. ‘We would like your views on our initial proposals’ it adds. Well, that at least is something from the commission that does make sense.
We only hope that views are made, listened to and acted upon.