Bradley Stoke set to disappear from constituency name

Houses of parliament/Westminster Palace, London [photo by Sir James; licence: cc/by-sa/3.0]

The parliamentary constituency of Filton and Bradley Stoke (FABS) could be renamed Thornbury and Filton if changes proposed by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) remain unchanged after a public consultation period that starts today.

A recent Act of Parliament called for the total number of constituencies in England to be reduced from from 533 to 502 and deemed that each constituency have no fewer than 72,810 and no more than 80,473 electors.

With the current size of the FABS constituency standing at 69,732, i.e. below the lower threshold, the Commission was forced to make changes, explained in its report as follows:

“The towns of Filton and Bradley Stoke, currently located in the Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency, are combined with the town of Thornbury and the surrounding area, currently located in the Thornbury and Yate constituency, in our proposed constituency of Thornbury and Filton. The town of Yate is instead combined with the area surrounding Mangotsfield, with which it has close communication links, in our proposed Yate constituency.”

The name of Bradley Stoke first entered the parliamentary vocabulary after the May 2010 General Election, following the creation of a new seat of Filton and Bradley Stoke. The new constituency replaced parts of the Bristol North West and Kingswood constituencies, as well as parts of the former Northavon constituency.

A public hearing into the proposed changes will be held in Bristol on Monday/Tuesday 7th/8th November 2011. Comments may also be recorded via the BCE’s consultation website.

More information: Initial Proposals for the South West (BCE) [PDF, 798kB]

The Journal Comments

With the Labour stronghold of Staple Hill being transferred into the Yate constituency and replaced by the two Liberal Democrat controlled wards of Thornbury, the proposed changes appear to represent a blow to the Labour Party’s aspiration of challenging for the local parliamentary seat at the next election.

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  1. How do they come up with these names? According to Wikipedia Bradley Stoke is twice the size of Filton – so surely Bradley Stoke and Thornbury would be the more appropriate names.

    Maybe as a town we should also be pushing for more recognition on maps. I’ve yet to see a map where Bradley Stoke looks anything other than a small district within Filton or Patchway – despite being bigger than either.

  2. Dave,

    I absolutely agree and have already made this clear to the commision via their online consultation. The name should include all three towns or be adjusted to something generic such as South Gloucestershire West.

    I urge you and others in agreement to submit responses to the consultation.

    Kind regards


  3. Bradley Stoke Town and District Councillor Robert Jones has provided The Journal with a copy of the comments he has submitted to the public consultation.

    Introducing his comments, Cllr Jones said:

    “While much of the focus in the media is concerned with which MPs may lose out at the next election, the impact on communities such as Bradley Stoke is largely overlooked.”


    “If the proposed changes go ahead Bradley Stoke will overnight be wiped from the Westminster map in what amounts to electoral genocide of the town’s residents.”

    Cllr Jones’ comments in full:

    I write to register the strongest disagreement for the proposed name of the new Thornbury and Filton Constituency.

    The largest town within the boundaries of this proposed constituency is neither Thornbury nor Filton but Bradley Stoke.

    The people of Bradley Stoke were very proud in 2010 to elect for the first time a single MP that covered their entire town and to see the town’s name recognised on the Westminster map. The removal of Bradley Stoke from this proposed constituency name in favour of the two smaller settlements is inequitable and amounts to little more than electoral genocide.

    If this proposed name is accepted the national standing of Bradley Stoke will be weakened and its residents will feel underrepresented. I urge you to reconsider the name and restore Bradley Stoke within it as: “Bradley Stoke, Thornbury and Filton.”

    If however you are unable to accept my proposed name or an alternative ordering of these three towns, please consider a generic regional titling such as “South Gloucestershire West” which does not inequitably give precedence to the residents of one Town over another.

  4. “Electoral genocide” – Wow sounds really serious. Oh no, just read the article and it isn’t. If this stirs up such emotion in Cllr Jones, I really hope he never has to deal with a real crisis.

  5. Unusually I write in support of Cllr Rob Jones and his view that the removal of “Bradley Stoke” from the constituency name is potentially an appalling decision by the Boundary Commission.
    At the time of the last review I was one of a small band of people who campaigned and got the town’s name included in the constituency name and I hope with enough support we can achieve a similar result again, but it will mean people making their views known and not just moaning about it.
    I believe the name of Bradley Stoke & Thornbury would suffice, recognising the 2 major residential areas in the new constituency. Regrettably it doesn’t have the same ring as FaBS, but you can’t have everything.
    Maybe, this is another opportunity for the BSJ to show leadership and start a campaign to get the name changed.
    I haven’t written to the Commission yet (we have until December 5th), but I will be reading residents’ comments so that any new angles can be included in my submission.

    Long Live Bradley Stoke

  6. If it means getting rid of an MP then please bring it on.Perhaps we could have less councillors as well?
    Whats in a name anyway -why do we have to have a towns included in a constiuency name -why not give it an area name? Northavon perhaps?!!!!!! Now theres an idea!

  7. I don’t know about cynical sid and other posters who seem to have no allegence to our town, but I for one am proud to live in Bradley Stoke and want to see our name included in our constituency.
    Yes, getting rid of our current MP does appeal, but we all know that there’ll be another one to take his place; maybe even Steve Webb!!

  8. JonBoy is incorrect when he says I have no allegiance to town. I have lived here for 23 years and once took the manager of the Halifax Estate agents to task when she said in the Daily Telegraph “she wouldn’t want to live here” If I had no allegiance why would I stay. I live here because it suits.
    What irritates me is the way councillors use any reason to get their name in lights particularly on matters which really will not affect life of the man/woman on the street in Bradley Stoke.
    Couldn’t agree more about your suggestion for an MP. Mr Webb seems far more active and supportive of his constituents!

  9. I agree replacing with Thornbury is inappropriate but also have many friends across the current constituency who were angry at the FABS name. Ask any Filtonian, and see their face redden if you try for BS & T!

    If we can’t have our Town in the title, then a compromise such as “Severn” is an option (largest geograph area on map I believe – fewer voters as well!). Could be very interesting for the three main political parties agreeing constituency names and candidates for the 2 new areas!

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