Boundary changes raise a few eyebrows

THE PROPOSED boundaries of the new Westminister Parliamentary constituencies have been made public.

Montrose is firmly placed at the east of the vast constituency of Angus East and Kincardine, which has 78,545 electors.

As well as Montrose, the constituency includes Arbroath to the south, but not Carnoustie. It goes up the coast past Stonehaven, and reaches its northern limit a little south of Portlethen.

Inland it includes Brechin, Forfar, much of the Angus Glens, Mount Keen and the Clatterin’ Bridge.

The Boundary Commissioners were tasked with reducing the number of constituencies in the United Kingdom from 650 to 600.

In Scotland there will be 52 constituencies instead of the present 59.

Constituencies must have between 72,810 and 80,473 electors, unless they are larger than 12,000 square kilometres in which case they can have fewer electors than the guideline figure. A constituency must be no larger than 13,000 square kilometres.

The Commissioners say: “The proposed constituency boundary follows ward boundaries in Aberdeenshire and Angus council areas with two exceptions: ward 17 (North Kincardine) of Aberdeenshire council area, where the boundary follows Portlethen community council boundary and open ground north of Netherley; and ward 18 (Stonehaven and Lower Deeside) of Aberdeenshire council area, where the boundary follows the Deeside watershed.

Comments must be submitted in writing by January 4, 2012, to Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5HD by e-mail to comments@scottishboundaries.gov.uk

There will be a public hearing about this on Tuesday, November 29 at The City Chambers, 14 City Square, Dundee DD1 3BY.

Looking at the broader picture,

Angus MP Mike Weir said: “Whilst I am pleased that the proposals retain the bulk of the Angus seat together in the new Angus East and Kincardine seat I do not see the logic in detaching Kirriemuir and the Glens from Angus and including it in a Dundee city seat.

“These boundaries are the result of the Boundary Commission playing a numbers game rather than looking at the interests of local communities.”

“The legislation pushed through by the coalition government makes clear that the overriding concern must be to make each seat of a similar size of electorate, and this has resulted in these proposals.

“The proposals are now out for consultation and I would urge all local people to look closely at what is proposed for Angus and to make their feelings known to the Boundaries Commission.”

* Do you have something to say about the boundary changes? Tell the Review at news@montrosereview.com