Kingswood constituency could be set to disappear

June 24 2021

THE Kingswood Parliamentary constituency is facing abolitionif new plans to redraw boundaries go ahead.

The Boundary Commission for England has put forward plans to revise constituencies to try to make them more consistent in population size.

The New Cheltenham, Kingswood and Woodstock wards in South Gloucestershire would be part of a new Bristol North East seat along with the Lockleaze, Eastville, Frome Vale and Hillfields wards in Bristol.

The Downend, Emersons Green and Lyde Green areas of the Kingswood seat would  join Filton & Bradley Stoke, while the Hanham, Warmley and Longwell Green areas would become part of another new constituency, Keynsham & North East Somerset.

The Kingswood constituency was created in 1974. It has swung between the two main parties over the decades; Labour’s Terry Walker was the first in the seat, serving from 1974-1979 when he lost to Conservative Jack Aspinwall. Rob Hayward held the seat for the Tories from 1983 to 1992 and Roger Berry was the Labour MP from 1992 until 2010.  Conservative Chris Skidmore, who has been the Kingswood’s MP for the past 11 years and has held several Ministerial posts,  declined to comment on the proposals.

If approved, the new boundaries will apply from 2023. Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, whose seat would be retained but with redrawn boundaries, said it was possible another general election could take place before then.

The changes are being proposed as part of a review aimed at taking account of population shifts to add seats to regions where the size of the electorate has increased and take them away from regions where it has declined.

The South West would gain a total of three new constituencies if the plans go ahead.

The proposals are open for comment until August 2 on the Boundary Commission for England reviews website, bcereviews.org.uk.