Parliamentary Constituencies Boundary Changes
Did you know that Parliamentary constituencies are set to change?
The independent Boundary Commission for England (BCE) have drawn the map of constituencies in England.
Revised parliamentary constituencies
Two Wards within our district will now come under the Braintree parliamentary constituency at the next general election, these being:
- Felsted and Stebbing
- The Sampfords
Two Wards within our district will now come under the Harlow parliamentary constituency at the next general election, these being:
- Broad Oak and the Hallingburys
- Hatfield Heath
Electors within these 4 wards will vote for the candidates in these 2 constituencies and not as the rest as the district will do for the North West Essex constituency (formerly called the Saffron Walden constituency).
There is no other impact on electors or general occupiers in regard to their council services which remains Uttlesford.
How the review was undertaken
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) published its initial proposals and maps for the nine English regions on their website on 8 June 2021. This eight-week public consultation closed on 2 August 2021. A second consultation period ran from 22 February to 4 April 2022.
The Commission has published the responses received from both consultation on their website. Public hearings were also held across the country.
Saffron Walden Parliamentary Constituency
Uttlesford District Council was represented by the Saffron Walden Parliamentary Constituency which had an electorate of 87,000 at the last parliamentary general election in December 2019, this included nearly 18,000 electors taken in from Chelmsford City Council.
You can see maps of the:
- Existing Saffron Walden Parliamentary Constituency electoral boundary on parliament.uk
- Final boundaries in the Eastern region on the BCE website
Questions and answers
Why did you review constituency boundaries?
We were asked by Parliament to review constituencies in England to ensure that there is a more even distribution of electors across them. Due to population changes since the last review, the number of electors in some constituencies is much higher than in others. The 2023 Boundary Review, was launched in January this year, will make the number of electors in each constituency more equal, thus ensuring individual votes are of broadly equal weight. In making these required changes, the number of constituencies in England must increase from 533 to 543.
How did you work out the changes to boundaries?
The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020 required the Commission to base the review on electorate data from 2 March 2020. According to the UK's electorate figures published on 5 January 2021 by the Office for National Statistics, each constituency that we recommend must contain no less than 69,724 Parliamentary electors, and no more than 77,062 (except two 'protected' constituencies for the Isle of Wight). This is essentially the mean average number of electors for each constituency. England have allocated 543 constituencies, which constitutes an increase of ten constituencies.
Is my MP or constituency affected by the boundary changes?
The number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543, and each will need to have a similar number of electors. To implement these requirements, there will be wide scale change to the majority of constituencies. View the results online at https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/2023-review/ for your particular area to find out more.
When will the changes take effect?
The Boundary Commission made its final recommendations to Parliament in June 2023. The Government must now turn the recommendations of the BCE (and those of the equivalent Commissions for the other three parts of the UK) into an 'Order in Council' that implements the recommendations. The constituencies set out in the Order will then be implemented for the next General Election after the date on which the legislation is approved.
Will this favour one political party over another?
The Boundary Commission for England is independent and impartial and will not take into account patterns of voting or the results of elections when reviewing constituency boundaries. Nor do the political parties' views on where boundaries should be have any more weight than those of members of the public.
How long did the review last?
Initial proposals were published on 8 June 2021, with final recommendations submitted to Parliament in the summer of 2023.
Why did you need my views?
We wanted to make sure that the final recommendations took local views and knowledge into consideration.
Will the changes affect my local council services, bin collections or schools, for example?
No. The boundary changes only relate to Parliamentary constituencies (the area an MP is elected to represent in Parliament). Services and council tax in your local area are set by your local authority and this review does not change local authority boundaries.
When will the new constituencies take effect?
After the final report from all four Parliamentary Boundary Commissions has been laid by the Speaker, the Government is required to submit to the Privy Council an Order that gives effect to all four Commissions' recommendations. After the Privy Council approves the Order, the new constituencies take effect at the next General Election. Any by-elections held in the meantime have to be held on the basis of the old (existing) constituencies.
Will the name of my constituency change following the review?
Yes, The Boundary Commission has changed the name of the Saffron Walden constituency to North West Essex to reflect its geographic area and to differentiate it from the old Saffron Walden constituency that comprised the whole of the Uttlesford district.
► Guide to the 2023 Review of Parliamentary constituencies on the Boundary Commission for England (independent.gov.uk)