This week the Boundary Commission released its new independent report outlining changes to the Parliamentary map and the reduction of the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The Commission has very strict criteria that it has to adhere to – namely that each constituency must be within 5% of the electoral quota and no larger than 13,000 square kilometres.
Currently the system is very unfair. The Isle of Wight has 108,000 voters whilst
Wirral West has 55,000. The aim must be to equalise these numbers. In certain areas – such as Gloucester and South Gloucestershire, the new constituencies will cross administrative county boundaries with the movement of Wotton-under-Edge and Kingswood. This will have a great effect on people on the ground and I cautiously await the results.
The Cotswolds looks to lose Wotton-under-Edge and Kingswood while gaining Nailsworth. For my part, I will continue to represent those constituents that are currently in The Cotswolds until the next general election. Thereafter if these proposals are approved by Parliament, Nailsworth will come into the Cotswolds constituency after the next election due in 2020.
[L-R John Carroll, Geoffry Clifton-Brown, James Monk, Andy Roy]
This week I chaired a roundtable discussion for the APPG for International Trade & Investment. The topic of this event was the opportunities facing British trade after Brexit. The three excellent speakers (above) from the financial and business sectors, were certainly optimistic about the future for international trade. The Government must take heed of these voices and help British businesses to export efficiently and profitably to international markets that are calling out for British goods.
[L-R GCB, Mr & Mrs Robert Wharton]
To the constituency, this weekend I attended the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire’s Garden Party at Cirencester Park Polo Club. The High Sheriff, Lady Bathurst, plays an admirable and active role in Gloucestershire life, helping to increase the profile of and champion the county’s many rural affairs.
[L-R Geoff Carr, GCB, Carole Boydell]
On to Corinium Radio Studio and the ‘Front Garden Festival Celebration’. The festival showcases some of Cirencester’s most wonderful front gardens and it was excellent to be invited to such a well-attended celebration of gardening. We are fortunate to be blessed with such a naturally beautiful area of the country yet it is the care and pride that homeowners place on their gardens that really makes Cirencester and our other villages a delight to visit.
Brewery car park, Cirencester
Finally, I also met with Cllr Mark Harris, Mayor of Cirencester, Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, Cabinet Member for Planning Services and Christine Gore, Strategic Director for Planning. We discussed various strategies to increase short and long term car parking in Cirencester. I was informed that consultants have been employed to investigate providing an extra layer to one of the car parks, however this will take time to plan. I was critical about the long term planning process in Cirencester and reiterated that it is essential that we have a proper contingency plan in place for pre-Christmas shopping to include parking for buses and cars. The message must be clear, Cirencester is well and truly open for business so that retailers can recover and thrive after a difficult summer period.
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