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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