MPs left surprised by 'slicing apart' of constituencies in boundary commision proposals

    MPs from Exeter and East Devon have been left surprised by proposals that would see a major shake-up of their electoral wards. Burnthouse Lane, parts of Countess Wear, and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are set to be moved ‘out of Exeter’ under proposals for a shake-up of England’s electoral map in 2023.



    MPs from Exeter and East Devon have been left surprised by proposals that would see a major shake-up of their electoral wards.
    Burnthouse Lane, parts of Countess Wear, and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are set to be moved ‘out of Exeter’ under proposals for a shake-up of England’s electoral map in 2023.
    While Devon will gain an extra MP as part of the proposals, albeit in a county boundary between Somerset and Devon in the new Tiverton and Minehead constituency, as a result of the boundary changes, parts of what is the existing Exeter constituency will be moved into a new Exmouth seat – which primarily covers the existing East Devon seat, with areas around Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary moving into a new Honiton seat covering the east of the county.
    The proposals would see the boundary between Simon Jupp’s East Devon seat and Ben Bradshaw’s Exeter seat, which currently runs along part of Rifford Road and Topsham Road, would be moved closer to the city centre and out towards the southern boundary.
    Countess Wear, the area around Isca College, the rest of Wonford and St Loye’s, as well as the area around Burnthouse Lane, would all be moved into the Exmouth constituency.
    Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw said that the proposal was a surprise but given the size of the city, it would be a challenge to find any outcome that suits everyone.
    He said: “The people of Burnthouse Lane and Thornpark Rise will be surprised about the proposal that they should be moved out of Exeter to the new Exmouth constituency. The problem is, this is the logical continuation of the last boundary changes that moved the Topsham and St Loyes wards out of Exeter, combined with the Tory Government’s last botched local council ward boundary changes which left an absolute mess.
    “The challenge, given Exeter needs to lose a chunk of voters because we are now too big under the rules for a single seat covering the whole city, will be to find an alternative that doesn’t involve moving a different area of the city that feels just as much part of Exeter into a neighbouring constituency.”
    Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, said; “The constituency I’m proud to represent contains the largest population in Devon and has to change under the rules of the boundary review. I will put forward my views as part of the consultation process as the East Devon constituency will change to reflect a growing population across the area. I voted to ensure Parliament can’t block the final recommendations which are designed to make Parliamentary representation fairer across the United Kingdom.”
    MP Neil Parish, whose Tiverton and Honiton ward will be ‘sliced apart’, said that he will have for the final proposals before deciding which of the two new areas he would wish to continue to represent.
    He said: “I was not expecting Tiverton and Honiton to be sliced apart. It was certainly a surprise, and this clearly affects my position as the constituency’s MP. My current electorate will be split and so I will no longer be able to represent each of my current constituents. I will have to await the final proposals in full, to ensure I have all the details, before I can make any decisions on whom I will seek to represent within the new boundaries.”
    Other changes see to the north of Exeter, the area around Poltimore will move from East Devon into Mel Stride’s Central Devon seat, while minor changes in and around Plymouth have also been put forward.
    The proposals from the Boundary Commission for England says the aim is to make Parliament fairer by giving each MP a roughly similar number of voters, which involves redrawing and renaming some seats.
    The total number of seats in the House of Commons will stay at 650 but population changes mean England is set to have 543 MPs, Wales 32 and Scotland 57 – that is an extra 10 for England, with Wales losing eight and Scotland’s count cut by two
    The review is designed to end the discrepancies in the current system with some MPs having only 50,000 constituents and others having double that, and seats will be redrawn so they have, by law, between 69,724 and 77,062 registered voters each, although some island constituencies, such as the Isle of Wight and Anglesey, being given special dispensation to be outside these requirements.
    Commenting on the Boundary Commission review, Professor Richard Toye, from the University of Exeter, said: “The Boundary Commission faces a very difficult task. On the one hand it is obliged to ensure that each constituency must have an electorate as that is no less than 95 per cent and no more than 105 per cent of the ‘UK electoral quota’ (which for this review is 73,393). On the other hand, it must also take into account ‘special geographical considerations’, existing constituency boundaries, and ‘any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies’.
    “These local ties may provoke strong feelings – for example, a voter who was previously in the Exeter seat may be upset about being reallocated to Exmouth, if they feel they lack connections there. In the past, political parties have been adept at using the public consultation process by manipulating the language of local ties to get the constituency boundaries that suit them best.”
    The Boundary Commission is consulting on the initial proposals for an eight-week period, from June 8 to August 2.
    /A spokesman said: “We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals. Our consultation portal at has more information about our proposals and how to give us your views on them.”
    A second consultation with public hearings will then get under way in spring 2022, followed by a final four-week consultation on revised plans in autumn 2022.
    Final recommendations are due by July 1, 2023, after which the government has four months to implement the plans.
    The changes will only come into effect in late 2023, but if a General Election is called before the new boundaries are in place, the election would be fought on the old boundaries.

    More from Devon News

    • Government apologises for systemic failings on rape: Devon Rape Crisis disappointed with lack of ambition in review

      After a two-year wait, the Government have published the highly anticipated ‘end-to-end’ review of Criminal Justice System (CJS) handling of rape cases in England and Wales. Devon Rape Crisis acknowledges the recognition of need for a cultural shift but says the plans lack urgency, detail and resourcing, and key equalities issues remain unaddressed.

    • Mental Health Organisation Chosen as Winner of the Prince of Wales Award in Devon

      The Awards judges deemed Parental Minds CIC, an organisation founded by Sarah-Lou Glover, the worthy winner of this year’s award.  Sarah-Lou has been a mental health caregiver her whole life and knows what a lonely journey it can be. This was the rationale for establishing Parental Minds in September 2019, which includes an initiative designed to support and empower parents who are acting as caregivers for friends and family. 

    • Devon and Cornwall Police Federation praises officers for hard work and dedication policing G7 summit

      Hosting the meeting of world leaders at Carbis Bay on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast was a massive operation with some 6,000 officers from forces across England and Wales drafted in to support. Only a handful of arrests were made during the operation, and pleasingly no officers were injured as protests and demonstrations from several groups largely took place peacefully.

    • Domestic abuse is Devon's largest single category of crime

      Member champions to help understand and tackle the impacts that domestic abuse and sexual violence in Devon are set to be appointed. Devon County Council’s cabinet last Wednesday morning heard that domestic abuse is the largest single category of crime in Devon, accounting for over 20 per cent of all offences and 40 per cent of violent offences. But while domestic abuse and sexual violence continues to impact thousands of adults and children in Devon each year, often the crimes are hidden, the meeting heard.

    • Regeneration projects in Exeter, Torquay and Bideford get Government cash

      More than £2.3 million of Government funding has been awarded to a partnership of councils in Devon to help deliver five local regeneration schemes to boost economic recovery. The One Public Estate programme aims to support councils to deliver initiatives which create economic growth through unlocking land for new homes and jobs; providing new opportunities to save on running costs or generating income funding; or transforming services.

    • Small rise in Covid patients in Devon - but Cornwall's hospitals still Covid free

      There has been a small increase in the number of patients in Devon in hospital following a positive Covid-19 test – but Cornwall’s hospitals are again Covid free. The latest Government figures, which give the position as of Tuesday, June 8, show that across hospital trusts in the two counties, there are only five patients currently in hospital – up from the one as of June 1.

    • Strong opposition to merging responsibility for Devon’s national parks, says council

      Any proposals to remove local responsibility for Dartmoor and Exmoor will be strongly opposed in Devon, the leader of the county council has declared. There has been considerable speculation that the Government is planning to centralise the management of Britain’s national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty in a new National Landscape Service. But Cllr John Hart, Devon County Council’s leader, has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustace, and Devon’s MPs urging them to keep the management local.

    • Bids will go in for funding for new relief road and railway station for Devon and new Town Centre for Exmouth

      Plans for a new transport hub, two relief roads, and town centre improvements for Exmouth will be put forward in a bid to get nearly £100m of Government cash. Devon County Council’s cabinet, when they met at County Hall in person on Wednesday morning, unanimously agreed with the recommendation to give approval for the council to work with the relevant district councils to submit bids to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.


    Tide Times

    Today's Weather

    • Exmouth

      Heavy Rain

      High: 17°C | Low: 8°C

    • Sidmouth

      Heavy Rain

      High: 17°C | Low: 9°C

    • Exeter

      Heavy Rain

      High: 17°C | Low: 9°C

    • Dawlish

      Heavy Rain

      High: 17°C | Low: 11°C

    What's On

    • Bob Crooks - Poetry in Glass Show 10am til 5.30pm

      Steam Gallery is delighted to be hosting an exceptional new show ‘Poetry in Glass’ by Bob Crooks. One of Britain’s most highly recognised glassmakers, Bob is well-known for his original and challenging dynamic forms that exploit the many properties of studio glass. Bob works his glass magic in a studio in deepest Devon, and his output ranges from fine wine glasses to imaginative and elegant sculptural forms. Creating these perfect works requires the highest skill and concentration, especially with the ever-present threat of disaster in this intense complex process! Bob has created a brand-new collection of over 20 unique pieces for this special show. Contact the gallery on 01297 625144 to request a catalogue to be sent to you in advance of the exhibition opening, or request an invite to join for the launch day on Saturday 19 June, when Bob will be present. You can see the pieces online, and all are available to purchase now.

      at Steam Gallery
    • Martin Procter - Steeped in the Glorious South West Painting Show 10am til 5.30pm

      Distinguished artist, Martin Procter, will be exhibiting 30 new paintings at Marine House at Beer. Showcasing Martin’s renowned talent and creativity, this new exhibition is a testament to the glorious South West and Martin’s love for all its elements - its history, drama, beauty, and human imprint. Those who know Martin's work well will be thrilled by this latest collection of works, in which he has pulled back from abstraction and found new excitement in emotive more realist interpretations of some of his most beloved locations. Those new to his paintings will in no doubt find the distinct Procter signature style satisfying and compelling, as it continues to naturally explore the interaction between man and nature. Open daily from 10am – 5.30pm, everyone is welcome to attend the launch day on Saturday 19th June, when Martin will be present. Simply contact the gallery on 01297 625257 to request a catalogue to be sent to you in advance of the exhibition opening. Paintings are viewable online and are available to purchase now.

      at Marine House At Beer
    • Active Minds - Dementia & Memory Loss Group 10.30 til 12.30 & 1.30 til 4pm

      Do you know someone with dementia or memory loss in East Devon? Active Minds group sessions offer fun and stimulating activities for brain health and wellbeing. At Budleigh Hub every Wednesday & Friday (10am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-4pm). Groups of around 5 people 2.5 hour sessions Enjoyable, interesting and stimulating activities Maximises your brain health and well being Perfect for making new friends Transport available Offers respite for carers Run by Atlas Care dementia specialists Book a FREE taster session now. For more info visit our website or call: 01626 774 799

      at Health And Wellbeing Community Hub