Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
A review of Parliamentary constituencies is advocating a radical division of the current Fareham constituency but no change in its Gosport counterpart.
The Boundary Commission for England has been required by law to review the current size and distribution of constituencies and it published its initial proposals this week ready for an eight-week period of public consultation.
One of the main guiding principles underpinning the review is that each constituency should have between 69,724 and 77,062 electors – except for the Isle of Wight’s two ‘protected’ constituencies.
In the case of Fareham, the commission accepts it is suggesting, “a more substantial reconfiguration”. The proposed new constituency of ‘Fareham and Waterlooville’ would stretch between these two urban areas and include Portchester and the rural areas of the lower Meon Valley.
That would leave the rest of the current Fareham constituency, including Titchfield, in what the commission terms the ‘Hedge End’ constituency, based around the River Hamble.
In its 2023 Review, the commission argues that, “other configurations of constituencies in this and the surrounding area would not better reflect the statutory factors, particularly with regard to the unchanged constituencies that make up the rest of the south Hampshire conurbation.”
Gosport would be one of these unchanged constituencies as would be Portsmouth North, Portsmouth South, and Havant.
The public have until August 2 to comment on the commission’s proposals using the website:
six-week secondary consultation period with the publication of revised proposals in the autumn of 2022.
The final report and recommendations must be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Commons by July, 2023.