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Plan to alter Bodmin and Padstow constituencies 'unnatural'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 23, 2012

'NO CONNECTION':  The revised electoral boundary proposal for the St Austell area.

'NO CONNECTION': The revised electoral boundary proposal for the St Austell area.

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ST AUSTELL could be paired with Bodmin and Padstow in a radical shake-up of the electoral boundaries in a move that has been described as "unnatural".

The Boundary Commission published a final draft on Tuesday of its proposals outlining how Cornwall would be divided under plans to reduce the number of MPs nationally from 650 to 600.

This includes a controversial cross-county 'Devonwall' seat covering Bude in North Cornwall and Bideford in West Devon.

But St Austell – currently paired with Newquay – would be drastically altered, with the town sharing an MP with Wadebridge, Bodmin and Padstow.

This is a change from previous proposals, which suggested excluding Newquay and combining St Austell with Truro to form a new boundary.

The new constituency would span nearly 40 miles from Port Isaac on the north coast to Gorran Haven on the south.

"I will continue to oppose the boundary reorganisation. These proposals are as dead as the dodo," said St Austell and Newquay MP Steve Gilbert, who is also against the idea of creating a Devonwall seat.

"With population change we do, of course, need to continue to keep the boundaries under review but I see little merit in what the Boundary Commission has suggested."

When asked what he would prefer the boundaries be, he said: "I don't think it should be the business of MPs or potential candidates to go around suggesting what the boundaries they would like are, that's why we have an independent commission.

"The Liberal Democrats have been really clear about this. They will not support the boundary proposals. Therefore, they will not go through," he added.

St Austell mayor John Keast agreed, saying the new boundary proposal did not seem "natural".

"It sounds as if they have got a kind of mid-Cornwall block from one coast to the other," he said.

"I trust Stephen Gilbert is looking at it from the point of view of re-electability.

"But my instant reaction is one of surprise, because it's not a natural community.

"St Austell and Newquay have an obvious connection, St Austell and Truro are quite closely linked, but there is no real connection between St Austell and the Wadebridge and Padstow area. It's an artificial constituency really."

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  • kernewekonan  |  October 23 2012, 11:10AM

    this downright incompetent coalition shambles of a despotic regime are completely ignorant of how to run a country. it is about time they came back to the real world and listened to people who pay for their unearned lavish lifestyles.

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  • Phil_lip  |  October 23 2012, 9:50AM

    All everyone needs to do is vote for anyone but the main three, get people thinking about their future, and the future of Cornwall and it will be a case of even if the greens get more votes in all constituencies in Cornwall it will be better than having the main 3 back in. Only about 25-35% of voting age actually vote in Cornwall so get busy and try and get another 30% by persuading friends who are apathetic and even Mebyon Kernow, or UKIP, or the monster raving looneys (if we had a candidate) would be a better choice.

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  • cheekyman_jr  |  October 23 2012, 9:35AM

    Do you really believe what the Liberal Democrats say? I take it you're new to politics!!! After so many lies, "misjudgements" and back peddling from the Liberal Democrats I think we need to be clear on one thing. The Liberal Democrats cannot be trusted. Let's remember "A vote for any one else is a vote for the Tories" The Unitary Authority that no-one wanted Insulting literature about rival candidates The rocking chair! Come on everybody! Let's all remember our favourite lie told by a Lib Dem! So, in short, LibDem words mean zilch, so how can we make sure that this ridiculous boundary change is stopped?

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  • josdave  |  October 23 2012, 9:25AM

    There is nothing natural about an electoral boundary so to change it for another cannot be unnatural.

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  • diogenes23  |  October 23 2012, 8:38AM

    "The Liberal Democrats have been really clear about this. They will not support the boundary proposals. Therefore, they will not go through," That's the Liberal Democrats who foisted the institutionally corrupt unitary shambles on us. The Liberal Democrats who lied about university fees. The Liberal Democrats who would *still* drag the UK into the failing Euro currency 'when the time is right'. The Liberal Democrats have demonstrated at local, national and international level that they will always change their minds if the bribes are big enough.

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