Saturday, 31 December 2011
Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has submitted her response to the Boundary Commission for Scotland’s Sixth Review of UK Parliament Constituencies.
Proposals from the Tory/Lib Dem London Government will see the number of Scottish MPs reduced from the present 59 to 52 and constituencies made much larger as a result.
Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:
“I have concerns regarding the size of the constituencies being proposed for Scotland, both in terms of numbers of electors and geographical area. The reduction in the number of elected MPs takes place in a context where they are already outnumbered by unelected members of the House of Lords. I fear fewer MPs serving unwieldy constituencies will only serve to make elected representatives more remote from their constituents.”
Regarding the new boundaries proposed for Banff & Buchan, which sees Ellon and surrounding areas move into the constituency, Dr Whiteford continued:
“Insofar as there will be changes, then reuniting the communities of Buchan into the same constituency makes sense.
“The communities of Buchan, from Fraserburgh to Ellon and from Turriff to Peterhead, were part of the same constituency for nearly a hundred years, so it is logical to use what worked well in the past as a blueprint for trying to make these changes work.”
Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson added:
“Community ties and historic connections are important in defining constituencies.
“I argued successfully when the Scottish Parliament constituencies were being reviewed that it would be quite wrong to name a new constituency stretching westward to Buckie “Buchan Coast”. The eventual name, Banffshire & Buchan Coast, is far more reflective of the communities which make up the constituency.
“Similarly, for the Westminster constituency, the opportunity has arisen to reunite historic Buchan and I am pleased that the Boundary Commission have recognised that with their initial proposals.”