'Devonwall is nonsensical' says local MP
NORTH Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson has described a proposed cross-border constituency as nonsensical after the plans were again put forward this week.
The Boundary Commission has published a second and final draft of how the country is to be carved up under plans to slash the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
It includes the so-called Devonwall parliamentary seat – which stretches from Camelford and St Teath up to Bideford.
Liberal Democrat Mr Rogerson urged West Country Tory MPs to also vote against the change.
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He said: "A cross-border seat makes no sense, and neither does a constituency that puts the Wadebridge and Padstow area together with St Austell."
Outrage followed the Boundary Commission's previous attempts to redraw the political map last September when the Devonwall seat was first suggested, running from Bude in North Cornwall to Bideford in West Devon.
The proposal brought protests and marches from North Cornwall down to the Tamar Bridge.
Launceston mayor Rob Tremain said this week that, although it would be nice to see the name of the ancient borough included in a constituency name, he was against a cross-border seat.
"I just don't think this cross-border constituency will work. It won't make sense for an MP to be representing people from two counties, some from up in Torridge and others from Tintagel," he said.
Yet, despite overwhelming opposition from MPs and councillors, Government demands to make each seat the same size means a change of plan is virtually impossible.
The Boundary Commission has adopted proposals put forward by the Conservatives to include two more wards in Torridge, Devon – but they say the revision will not "significantly alter the balance and nature of the constituency".
Launceston – the ancient capital of Cornwall – the report says "will be included in the constituency's name so voters from "all areas can identify with it".
However, the proposals are unlikely to go ahead, given Liberal Democrat opposition to the Tory-led boundary review.
Some 18 Devon and Cornwall seats would be reduced to 17. Four constituencies are to be unchanged.
Other notable changes include Hayle being taken into the St Ives constituency and Truro and Falmouth separating.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg vowed to block redrawn boundaries in a House of Commons vote in revenge for rebel Tory backbenchers wrecking his plans for House of Lords reform.