This is an alternative scheme for the Eastern region.

Summary benefits:
The non-contiguous constituency in Cambridgeshire is removed.
Felixstowe is included in a separate constituency located entirely between the Rivers Deben and Orwell.
Stopsley is included in a Luton South constituency.

Details:
Most of the constituencies in the existing proposals are left unchanged, as is the pattern of sub-groupings used.

Cambridgeshire:
Peterborough, North West Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon and North East Cambridgeshire are left unchanged.

The proposed East Cambridgeshire constituency includes Milton and Waterbeach ward, which has a detached part to its south. This leaves the constituency non-contiguous, as there is no connection of this detached part to the rest of the constituency. Although it is not required for constituencies to be contiguous, it is surely highly desirable (and non-contiguity poses a major geographical barrier as discussed in the special geographical factors section of the guide). There are three possible solutions:
1) Include Fulbourn and Fen Ditton in East Cambridgeshire. This would divide the Cherry Hinton community, and still leave the detached part of Milton and Waterbeach with no road connections to the rest of the constituency.
2) Include Milton and Waterbeach in South Cambridgeshire. This would necessitate crossing the River Cam, which is a good constituency boundary in the proposals. It has the same problem with the detached part not having road connections.
3) Include Milton and Waterbeach in Cambridge. This would include a rural component in Cambridge; however, this is the only solution which provides the detached part of Milton and Waterbeach with a road connection, and has the added benefit of including Cambridge North railway station and the Cambridge Science Park in a Cambridge-based constituency.

To bring the Cambridge constituency back into range, the Trumpington ward would be transferred to South Cambridgeshire. There was some contention in the report about which of Trumpington, Queen Edith's and Cherry Hinton to retain in Cambridge; this proposal eliminates that decision. All three wards have a good case to be included in South Cambridgeshire.

The South Cambridgeshire constituency would then transfer Gamlingay and Hardwick wards to St Neots, which would then transfer Over and Willingham ward to East Cambridgeshire. Over and Willingham has good links to Cottenham, already in the constituency.

Norfolk:
No change to the proposed constituencies.

Essex and Suffolk:
All constituencies in Essex except for Braintree are unchanged. Additionally, Lowestoft, and Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket, are unchanged.

The proposed Suffolk Coastal constituency includes Felixstowe, which lies south of the River Deben. The only road connection is in the far west of the constituency, in the Martlesham and Purdis Farm ward. Moreover, Felixstowe has more in common with Ipswich than with towns such as Aldeburgh and Southwold, with good road links via the A14. I have proposed an Ipswich East and Felixstowe constituency consisting of the following wards: from East Suffolk, the wards of Western Felixstowe, Eastern Felixstowe, Orwell and The Villages, Martlesham and Purdis Farm, Kesgrave, and Rushmere St Andrew; and from Ipswich, Bixley, St John's, Gainsborough and Priory Heath. This produces a compact constituency with the eastern part of Ipswich (including the suburbs of Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew) and Felixstowe.

All East Suffolk wards not included in Ipswich East and Felixstowe or Lowestoft would be included in an East Suffolk constituency. This could be called Suffolk Coastal, but due to the boundary change and the abolition of the Suffolk Coastal district, the East Suffolk name is preferred. This also has the advantage that the constituency is located entirely within the East Suffolk authority.

The remaining Ipswich wards would be contained in an Ipswich constituency, which could be called Ipswich West. This would also include the ward of Sproughton and Pinewood from the Babergh district. Although this would be an orphan ward, its inclusion is justified by the fact that Pinewood is essentially a suburb of Ipswich.

The North Suffolk constituency is more compact, now containing the wards covering the town of Stowmarket as well as Onehouse and Stonham wards. The wards of Needham Market, Claydon and Barham, Bramford, Blakenham, and Battisford and Ringshall are now located in South Suffolk. The wards of Chadacre and Long Melford are transferred to Haverhill and Halstead. This means that South Suffolk would no longer be coterminous with Babergh district. It is also a disadvantage that Long Melford is in a different constituency to Sudbury. However, there are few options in this area and this allows for the Felixstowe constituency, which has more pressing geographical factors that should be considered.

Haverhill and Halstead remains as the cross-county constituency, gaining Chadacre and Long Melford at the expense of Three Fields, which would be transferred to Braintree. This minimises disruption in Essex, as no other constituencies would be affected.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire:
No constituency in Hertfordshire is changed from the initial proposals, including the cross-county constituency in Hitchin. Moreover, Mid Bedfordshire, North Bedfordshire, Bedford, and Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard are unchanged.

Stopsley ward has poor road links to the rest of the proposed Luton North constituency, as mentioned in the report. There are also stronger community links with neighbouring wards, such as Wigmore and Round Green. In the report, it was considered that there was no feasible solution to include Stopsley in a Luton South constituency. However, it is possible to do this. I have included both Stopsley and the neighbouring ward of Barnfield in Luton South, and transferred Dallow ward to Luton North. Neither Barnfield nor Dallow would be unnecessarily cut off from the rest of their constituency, since the road connections for both are good. The only possible inconvenience is that Bury Park would be divided between Luton North and South.

I have also continued to use the Luton South name, as opposed to Luton South and South Bedfordshire. This proposed name is cumbersome; in addition, it is somewhat unreasonable to describe two wards as "South Bedfordshire", which suggests a wider area. There is no population centre that can reasonably be appended (Luton South and Whipsnade? Luton South and Eaton Bray? Luton South and Caddington?) so the bare Luton South name is kept.

Type of respondent

Member of the public

Personal details

Cheltenham

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