'This doesn’t make much sense' - MPs react to proposed boundary changes

Grant Shapps, the MP for Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: Richard Townshend.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has raised concerns about the boundary proposals. - Credit: Archant

It could be all change for the villages of Newgate Street, Cuffley and Northaw following the latest proposals for changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries – and MPs have now given their reaction. 

The proposals could see Newgate Street move from Welwyn Hatfield to Hertsmere, alongside Cuffley and Northaw - both currently part of Broxbourne. Aside from these areas Welwyn Hatfield would largely remain the same.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has concerns over Newgate Street’s possible move, and intends to raise them with the Boundary Commission during the consultation period. 

“Having looked at the proposed changes to Welwyn Hatfield in the boundary review, I am concerned about the proposed loss of Newgate Street and the surrounding area to Hertsmere,” he told the Welwyn Hatfield Times. 

“It’s vital that parliamentary constituencies represent the communities we call home, not just population. Whilst I understand and support the need to reassess boundaries and keep elections fair, on this specific point the community of Welwyn Hatfield would not be served well by the loss of Newgate Street. 

“The commission itself talks about the importance of ensuring that homes within borough council boundaries are also within the relevant constituency. In fact, the opposite is proposed for Newgate Street: to keep it within the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council area, but outside the constituency. This doesn’t make much sense. 

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“Newgate Street and its residents are an intrinsic part of the Welwyn Hatfield community, and I will be making this case to the Boundary Commission during consultation.” 

Broxbourne MP Charles Walker also has concerns about the proposed boundaries, saying: “If the numbers allow, I think a better fit would be for Cuffley and Northaw to be reunited with the Welwyn Hatfield Constituency, as this is the local authority in which the ward resides.” 

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This newspaper contacted Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden for comment, but is yet to receive a response. 

The 2023 Boundary Review is being conducted under rules laid down by Parliament, which retains the number of constituencies in the UK at 650 and requires the number of electors in each constituency to be brought more in line with each other. 

The latest round of consultation opens today, June 8, and closes on August 2.

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