Changes in the parliamentary constituency of Newbury
Voters in Newbury constituency could find themselves voting in a new constituency if proposals to redraw the political map are approved.
The seat of Newbury is to be divided and the villages east of Thatcham will have a new MP according to the proposals.
The new constituency of Newbury will stretch from Upper Lambourn to Thatcham and from Fawley and Farnborough to Coombe, covering Hungerford, Inkpen, Chieveley, Cold Ash and the villages of the downlands.
Residents of Aldermaston, Aldworth, Ashampstead, Beedon, Bradfield, Brimpton, Bucklebury, Compton, East and West Ilsley, Frilsham, Hampstead Norreys, Lower and Upper Basildon, Midgham, Woolhampton and Yattendon could find themselves voting for the MP for Mid Berkshire if the proposals move forward.
Calcot, Pangbourne, Purley-on-Thames, Sulham, Theale, Tidmarsh and Tilehurst – currently in Reading West – will also report to Mid Berkshire, as well as Beenham, Burghfield, Padworth and Mortimer, who are currently in the constituency of Wokingham.
The Boundaries Commission for England has proposed the changes to ensure that the number of voters in each constituency is more equal.
The number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543 according to the proposals, and constituencies must have at least 69,724 parliamentary voters and at most 77,062.
Commission data indicates that Newbury’s electorate is currently 78,963. Under the new proposals, Newbury will have 71,631 voters and Mid Berkshire 69,999.
Newbury MP Laura Farris, who won the seat in 2019 with 34,431 votes and a majority of 16,047, was approached for comment.
Newbury Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson Lee Dillon said: “The proposals that have been put forward need to be scrutinized. We need to make sure that the boundaries do not divide communities.
“Having Newbury and Thatcham in the same constituency always gives us a chance here. We increased our share of the vote here in the last election and took a seat from the Conservatives in the Clay Hill by-election. It really shows that the Blue Wall across the South is collapsing here in West Berkshire. “
Mr Dillon, who finished second behind Ms Farris with 30.6% of the vote in 2019, added: “The Mid Berkshire headquarters doesn’t have big cities, but it takes a bit of what people would call the Reading suburbs like Calcot and Tilehurst.
“Is this the best way for the people of this region to be represented?”
“This review was originally aimed at reducing the number of MPs to create larger ridings. One of the important aspects of democracy is access to your representative. I don’t mind seeing smaller ridings because you get then a better representation. “
Responses to the initial proposals and a secondary consultation are scheduled for early 2022, followed by revised proposals and further consultations later in the year.
The final recommendations are expected to be released in June 2023.
To view and comment on the proposals, including constituency boundaries and names, visit www.bereviews.org.uk before the consultation closes on August 2, 2021.
England Boundaries Commission Secretary Tim Bowden said: ‘We are taking into account all comments received during the consultation process, and it is your local knowledge that helps us shape the constituencies that reflect the better your area.
“It’s easy to get involved – check out our proposals and have your say through our online consultation portal – www.bereviews.org.uk”