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South Wales - Constituency boundary changes

What does it mean for the South Wales region?


The Boundary Commission for Wales (BCW) has published its initial proposals for Parliamentary constituencies in Wales. All recommended constituencies must have no less than 69,724 Parliamentary electors and no more than 77,062 (except for ‘protected’ constituencies). Representing the most significant change to Wales’s constituencies in a century; the present 40 constituencies will reduce to 32. This will result in the redrawing and renaming of some constituencies.


Existing boundaries:

Courtesy: Boundary Commission for Wales


How will the South Wales region be affected?

Each regional area of Wales will see a reduction in number of constituencies. The combined South Wales region will decrease from 23 to 19 constituencies.


  • South Wales Central region remains largely the same losing Cynon Valley which is amalgamated into Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. The boundaries have also been redrawn.

  • South Wales East region is reshuffled, redrawn, and renamed. Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney becomes Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare, Rhymney combines with Blaenau Gwent. Caerphilly merges with Newport West and Monmouth becomes Monmouthshire.

  • South Wales West region sees the largest changes. Aberavon is replaced with Aberafan Porthcawl, Swansea East and Neath combine, Swansea Central and North is a newly created region, Swansea West and Gower merge, whilst Bridgend boundaries are changed.


Proposed boundaries:


Courtesy: Boundary Commission for Wales


So what?

Boundary changes are always a political hot topic because more often than not it results in at least one political party feeling that it is likely to impact its prospects for future elections. Its very difficult to redraw local political boundaries without some perceived impact one way or another.


It should also be noted that currently Westminster constituencies and Welsh Senedd constituencies share the same boundaries - if these boundary changes were to proceed as proposed, this would result in a different political boundary layout for MPs than for Members of the Senedd, which could throw up some logistical issues down the line.


Whilst it is still early stages, these boundary changes could result in broader political changes and ongoing discussion beyond the immediate changes to specific constituencies.


Have your say

The BCW proposal is currently in its initial 8-week consultation period. Members of the public, groups, and organisations may submit written responses to the initial proposals from 8 September 2021 to 3 November 2021.


BCW are particularly interested in hearing from people about the extent to which the proposals reflect the local ties in the area, and if people disagree with their proposals, how they think they should be amended.


The BCW has published guidance about the review and how you can have your say here:

https://www.bcw-reviews.org.uk/


Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how these changes could potentially affect your planning projects.

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