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After the Boundary Commission’s revised plans revealed further controversy in the shake up of the borough’s constituencies, the Solihull News have been hitting the streets to get your views

Latest proposals to redraw parliamentary constituencies across the country show Knowle will now remain in Meriden but neighbouring Dorridge & Hockley Heath will still be shunted into the all-new Kenilworth & Dorridge constituency, joined by Blythe and Shirley West and South

Latest proposals to redraw parliamentary constituencies across the country show Knowle will now remain in Meriden but neighbouring Dorridge & Hockley Heath will still be shunted into the all-new Kenilworth & Dorridge constituency, joined by Blythe and Shirley West and South.

Harry Southern, originally from Knowle, slammed the plans as ‘absolutely ridiculous.’

“It’s bonkers to try and put people into pre-conceived boxes when there is a long, clear history between the two,” said the 87-year-old, now living in Solihull centre.

“In my view, the people of Dorridge will only accept this with great reluctance.

“You may just find a drop in the polling numbers if it goes ahead.

“It seems to have been done only as a political exercise.”

Sandra and Peter, from Dorridge, agreed adding: “It seems pointless to me.

“It is just going to upset everyone.

“This isn’t what we pay our taxes for. We just want it kept the same.”

A Knowle resident, who would not be named, said Dorridge and Knowle were meant to be together.

“Thank goodness they changed their mind on the boundary changes for Knowle. I’m relieved.

“But I do feel sorry for anyone that will still be moving, such as Dorridge.

“The government always seem to think they know best, but Dorridge belongs with Knowle.

“We flow into each other, we’re all bound together.

“We have far much more in common with Dorridge, than it does with Kenilworth.”

Brian and Ann Timmins, from Knowle, were worried that little thought had been given to local communities who would be affected by the changes.

“It seems a shame to me. It just frightens you - is the reason it’s being done just political rather than on behalf of constituents?

“It seems to benefit them a lot more than it does us.”

However Julie Manson, from Knowle, suggested Dorridge residents may prefer to become part of Kenilworth, as ‘they are both rural and affluent.’

While Derek Neary, who turns 80 years old next week, said he didn’t care ‘one way or the other’ about the proposals.

“It doesn’t affect me,” said the Knowle resident since 1960. “If it makes voting fairer, then it should probably happen.”

The plans, which would not affect council boundaries, would also see Castle Bromwich join Erdington in Birmingham, as the city’s Shard End moving into Meriden.

It remains uncertain if the shake-up, designed to create a fairer electoral system by giving each constituency a similar-sized electorate, will go-ahead.

Proposals have been broadly condemned by all political parties locally, and the Lib Dems have withdrawn their support nationally.

Without this, coalition partners, the Conservatives, are unlikely to get the changes voted through. Parliament will vote on the proposals next year.

 

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