A CAMPAIGN has been launched to keep Warwick and Leamington together.
An online petition has been set up in response to proposed changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries which could see the Warwick and Leamington seat split in two under Boundary Commission proposals.
The petition has been started by the cross-party 1885 Campaign – the year the current Warwick and Leamington constituency was created – who argue the proposals were not in line with the make-up of the local area and did not take into consideration its shared history, heritage, culture, economy or geography.
It goes on: “ We ask that our signatures are formally recognised as objections to the Boundary Commission’s proposal in respect of Warwick and Leamington and call upon the commission to re-think its plan in order to keep Warwick and Leamington as one constituency.”
It had over 100 signatures as we went to press, and current Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White, who is also opposed to the proposal, was following the campaign’s twitter page closely.
Mr White told The Observer: “I welcome the ‘1885’ campaign as an important initiative to raise awareness of the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals for the 2018 Review. I am sure the campaign will gather momentum and will highlight the close ties between Warwick and Leamington in many respects.
“The Boundary Commission’s proposals would split the towns into separate constituencies which in my view, is illogical and would be to the detriment of our local economy, local organisations and charities and public services. For Myton and Heathcote to be included in a different constituency to the rest of Warwick, for example, is bizarre!
“Warwick and Leamington are closely affiliated geographically and demographically and take pride in a strong sense of community. I would encourage local residents to write to the Boundary Commission to express their views.”
The Boundary Commission for England has reviewed the boundaries of all the Parliamentary constituencies in England as the Government seeks to reduce the number of MPs sitting in Parliament by 50 to 600.
The proposed new boundaries in Warwickshire would see the current Warwick and Leamington seat divided. Leamington would join Kenilworth in forming a new Kenilworth and Leamington seat, while Warwick would join with Stratford in a new Warwick and Stratford seat.
Southam, currently part of the Kenilworth and Southam seat held by Jeremy Wright, would join Rugby in forming a new Rugby and Southam seat.
The changes will mean each constituency will have an electorate of between 71,030 and 78,500 people.
If approved, the boundaries will change in September 2018.
People can have their say on the proposals on November 10 and 11 from 10am to 8pm at the Pump Rooms, Leamington.
Visit www.bce2018.org.uk for further details, or www.change.org and search Warwick and Leamington to sign the petition.
* THE BOUNDARY Commission for England is holding public hearings in Leamington in November where people can have their say on proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies.
People are being invited to give their views direct to Assistant Commissioners at Leamington’s Pump Rooms on November 10, from 10am to 8pm, and the following day from 9am to 5pm.
Visit www.bce2018.org.uk for further information and to book a slot.