Final recommendations on the proposed new parliamentary boundaries have been published today.
Under the proposals, ‘Greenock and Inverclyde’ would be renamed ‘Clyde Coast’ and the seat would include Langbank, Bishopton, Largs, Skelmorlie, Fairlie and Millport. This would increase the size of the electorate from about 57,000 to 75,000.
In December 2017 I lodged my objection to the proposals outlined at that time and the revised proposals published today have done little to reassure me.
If these electorate boundaries were to be approved then Scotland would lose approximately 10% of its seats. Reducing the number of democratically elected members is an outrage at a time when there are 791 unelected members of the House of Lords.
My four staff members already have a high volume of constituency cases, over 5,000 since 2015, a problem exacerbated by Inverclyde lack’s of a CAB and the closure of the Port Glasgow Job Centre and other advice services.
Increasing the electorate by almost a third without providing additional resources will inevitably impact on the level of service my office is able to offer constituents.
Part of the problem is that the boundary commission were given the remit to reduce the number to 600. They were not asked to design constituencies that would give the electorate a stronger and more representative voice. They were not asked to design a system that helped elected members do their job better. Westminster got what it asked for.
I will continue to oppose these proposals when they are brought before parliament.
You can view my full response to the December 2017 consultation [here].