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Borough set to be hit by boundary shake-up

SWEEPING changes to the shape of MPs’ constituencies could transform the borough’s political landscape.

SWEEPING changes to the shape of MPs’ constituencies could transform the borough’s political landscape.

This week, the Boundary Commission published details of a major shake-up of the UK’s electoral map.

Over 50 seats will disappear as part of proposals, set to come into effect at the next General Election.

While the existing constituencies of Solihull and Meriden would remain under proposals, both are set to change.

And large parts of the borough would be covered by a third, all-new constituency - Kenilworth & Dorridge.

Solihull: Lib Dem Lorely Burt’s constituency would see its electorate slightly reduced to 74,099.

Large parts (Elmdon, Lyndon, Olton, St Alphege, Shirley East and Silhill) would remain in the seat.

But Shirley South and Shirley West would be moved into Kenilworth & Dorridge.

In exchange, Solihull would take Sheldon, which comes under Birmingham City Council’s jurisdiction.

A Lib Dem enclave, it would become the most populous ward in the constituency - with 16,000 voters.

But Mrs Burt, who held Solihull with a majority of 175 last year, voiced concerns about the changes.

“It’s quite odd,” she said. “Looking at it on the map it was not what I was expecting.”

“People in Sheldon will pay taxes to Birmingham but have a Solihull MP.”

Meriden: Currently a safe Conservative seat, Meriden would be dramatically altered by proposals.

Its electorate would be slashed by some ten thousand, down to 73,456, but the borders would encompass taxpayers from three local authorities (Solihull, Birmingham and Warwickshire).

Five wards, Bickenhill, Meriden, Chelmsley Wood, Smith’s Wood and Kingshurst & Fordbridge, would remain in the constituency.

But Tory heartlands like Blythe, Knowle and Dorridge & Hockley Heath would become part of the Kenilworth & Dorridge seat.

The constituency would also lose Castle Bromwich, set to be tagged-onto Birmingham Erdington.

It would gain Shard End, a staunchly Labour ward, and the villages of Water Orton and Coleshill.

MP Caroline Spelman, who has held the seat since 1997, said: “Foremost on my mind is standing up for the people I was elected to represent.

“I shall continue to do that on a daily basis as well as fighting for the constituency of Meriden to stay together and for the Solihull boundary to remain intact.”

 

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