An academic report published by the McDougall Trust today
provides option that may provide a solution to a future 'Devonwall' threat.
The report can be read here
The Boundary Commissions is due to begin the multi-million pound project of radically redrawing constituency boundaries once again in 2016, unless Parliament amends the law next year.
One option being considered is to make sure new constituencies are of a fairer size so that MPs are each representing a similar amount of people, but also to ensure that they respect boundaries that people attach importance too, including that between Cornwall and Devon.
The report says "A major issue raised by the Boundary Commission for England’s 2011 provisional and 2012 revised recommendations was the necessity for it to combine Cornwall, with a theoretical entitlement of 5.47, with Devon and the creation of one cross-boundary constituency – named Bideford and Bude in the provisional recommendations and Bideford, Bude and Launceston in the revised version."
Former North Cornwall MP and Lib Dem Political Reform spokesman Lord (Paul) Tyler:
"The risk is that without a change in the law after 2015, the Boundary Commissions could spend nearly £7m on another review with totally unsatisfactory results. For Cornwall, the outcome would be particularly bad, since the present rules make a cross-border Devon/Cornwall constituency more or less inevitable. This report shows the way - on a totally non-partisan basis - to make the system fairer without breaching strong natural borders like that between Cornwall and England."
The findings will be presented to MPs and Boundary Commission officials by authors Professor Ron Johnston, Professor Charles Pattie and Dr David Rossiter. Former North Cornwall MP, Lord Tyler (Liberal Democrat), is co-sponsoring the report's cross-party launch today (Wednesday) with former Political Reform Minister (Conservative), Mark Harper MP and Political Reform Select Committee Chair (Labour), Graham Allen MP.
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