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How will it affect you? Boundary commission reveals plans to reshape parliamentary constituencies

Referendum Day - polling station in the Maids Head Hotel, in Norwich city centre. Photo : Steve Adams

Referendum Day - polling station in the Maids Head Hotel, in Norwich city centre. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2016

Thousands of people around the region could be voting for a new MP at the next election after a shake-up in constituency boundaries.

Norwich MP remains confident despite unfavourable draw

The move of Wensum from the south up to Norwich North is likely to come as a blow to Norwich South MP Clive Lewis.

And when added to the shift of Old Costessey and Cringleford - both largely Conservative areas - into his constituency, Mr Lewis doesn’t appear to have had the best draw in the shake-up.

But last night the MP said he was confident that, should the changes go ahead as planned, he would hold onto the seat.

“It looks like I would still have a majority that people would consider strong,” he said. “Though we are not complacent. It would still be a winnable seat.”

But, he said, he hoped the proposals would be amended before going through and joined the Liberal Democrats in raising concern over the outdated electoral roll.

The Boundary Commission for England has today announced proposals to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 in plans which are likely to hit Labour hardest, with many of its strongholds merged or abolished.

In the east, the number of MPs will drop from 58 to 57, with Norfolk continuing to have nine - though South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss would adopt the Cambridgeshire wards of Littleport East and West.

Most constituencies would be adjusted, with just six of the current 58 - including Waveney and West Suffolk - unchanged.

Over the next 12 weeks, the commission will welcome feedback on the scheme before they progress.

Shadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis speaks in the House of Commons in London during a debate on whether to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 18, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Trident. Photo credit should read: PA WireShadow Defence Secretary Clive Lewis speaks in the House of Commons in London during a debate on whether to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 18, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Trident. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Click here to see the Boundary Commission map of how constituencies will change in east England

Key changes in our area include:

• Transferring Thurlton from South Norfolk to Great Yarmouth

• Moving Wymondham back to South Norfolk from Mid Norfolk

• Cringleford and Old Costessey would move from South Norfolk to Norwich South

• The Labour heartland ward of Wensum would shift from Norwich South up to Norwich North

• Aylsham voters would be in the North Norfolk constituency, moving from Broadland

• Briston - currently North Norfolk - and Hermitage - currently Mid Norfolk - would both move to Broadland

• South West Norfolk wards Harling and Heathlands would move to Mid Norfolk

Among those most affected will be Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, who is set to lose a Labour ward and take on two Conservative ones.

Constitution minister Chris Skidmore said the plans would save taxpayers £66m over five years.

“Our democracy and our parliamentary system need to represent everyone equally,” he said. “That’s why the independent Boundary Commissions are proposing measures to achieve equal-sized constituencies that will ensure an equal say for each voter.

“As it stands, some constituencies have twice as many electors as other constituencies and that cannot be right.” Many of the adjustments are to ensure that constituences have an electorate that is no smaller than 71,031 and no larger than 78,507.

The plans have been criticised by Liberal Democrat politicians, who say using the electoral roll from 2015 did not reflect the two million additional voters who registered ahead of the EU referendum.

• See tomorrow’s EDP for an in-depth look at how the changes affect you.

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