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Andrew Mitchell MP’s submission to the Boundary Commission for England

Read Andrew Mitchell's letter to the Boundary Commission.

Dear Sir

Submission to the Boundary Commission for England

Under the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals for Sutton Coldfield constituency it has been suggested that the New Hall Ward of my constituency be moved from Sutton Coldfield to Erdington.

Unfortunately the Boundary Commission was unable to allocate me a speaking slot on these proposals at the Public Hearing in Birmingham on 3 and 4 November. Please therefore accept this letter as my formal submission to the Public Consultation on the Boundary Review.

I am seeking to represent my constituents' views, both supportive and critical, about the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals for Sutton Coldfield.

I approve of a process which would deliver for the public a fairer voting system in terms of size of constituency and which would reduce the cost of politics and politicians. This view is widely supported across Sutton Coldfield. I fully understand that tough decisions by an independent, non-political quasi-judicial body are inevitably required to deliver such an outcome. Nevertheless, the Commission will understand that I have represented New Hall for the past 11 years and have built up many strong relationships with local residents throughout the ward. I would obviously be sorry to lose it.

Since the public consultation started I have had a range of views put to me by local people. I have sent on written correspondence to the Boundary Commission, while also making clear to all individuals concerned that they must contact the Commission directly to formally record their views.

The majority of written correspondence I have received objects to the proposals. Such objections were also conveyed to me at a public meeting I convened and held in New Hall Ward, attended by approximately 70 local residents. Objections centre around many peoples’ feeling that the proposals are change for change’s sake. They do not understand why the Boundary Commission has proposed to swap New Hall Ward with Erdington’s Kingstanding Ward.

What has also been apparent is that many constituents were under several misconceptions that insurance premiums, addresses and house prices would be affected by the change. I have been able to dispel these inaccuracies.

For the sake of balance I would also like to confirm that some local people have told me that they are relaxed about the changes as they will always live in Sutton Coldfield, whatever the boundaries used for the purposes of Parliamentary elections.

To conclude, I regret the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals which alter Sutton Coldfield’s constituency boundaries for General Elections, while entirely understanding and respecting the independent process by which all of England’s boundaries will be decided. Whatever the outcome in terms of constituency boundaries, Sutton Coldfield will always be a Royal Town and together with our Councillors I will be continuing the campaign to have that rightful status restored.

Yours sincerely

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP

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