Goodbye Hamilton Hello Dumfries?
At the next UK General Election, Carluke and Lanark folk might no longer be voting in the same constituency they currently share with the people of Hamilton East but with the citizens of Dumfriesshire instead.
That is what is proposed by the Boundary Commission which on Monday revealed its full plan to reduce the number of Westminster MPs from 650 to 600 by the next election, scheduled for 2022.
Gazette readers almost all live in one of three current constituencies; Lanark and Hamilton East, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweedale and East Kilrbide, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.
All face changes of some sort but Clydesdale’s two biggest communities, Carluke and Lanark, face possibly the greatest shake-up. They will be ‘transferred’ to a new Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire South East Constituency.
This will bring together parts of the constituencies currently held by the SNP’s Angela Crawley and Conservative David Mundell.
The proposal was immediately labelled “ridiculous” by Ms Crawley this week, stating: “Their plans would see Scotland’s representation slashed by over ten per cent at a time when it is more important than ever to hold the Tories to account.
“If the UK government wants to reduce the cost of politics, the priority must be to abolish the unelected, undemocratic House of Lords, which has zero accountability to voters. There is no appetite for these changes at present and I am confident that they won’t see the light of day.”
For his part, Mr Mundell commented: “Having represented Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale at Westminster for over 13 years, I would be extremely disappointed to see the constituency broken up.
“However, at least the revised proposals have taken on board local concerns in Dumfriesshire and Annan. Parliament will decidet whether these changes are adopted.”