Jo has fed back to the Scottish Boundary Commission on proposals to change the Westminster constituency boundaries in our area.
In order to reduce the number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600, the Boundary Commission for Scotland recently put forward initial proposals which recommended changes to the current shape of the East Dunbartonshire constituency.
Under the proposed changes, most of the current East Dunbartonshire constituency would join with the rest of Kirkintilloch, Lennoxtown, Milton of Campsie, Twechar and Kilsyth to become a new East Dunbartonshire & Kilsyth constituency. Bearsden North would be removed from the constituency to join with West Dunbartonshire.
The Scottish Boundary Commission is now inviting views from the public on the proposals, and on Tuesday Jo attended a public hearing session in Glasgow on behalf of East Dunbartonshire constituents to make known the support for reuniting Kirkintilloch and concerns about splitting Bearsden.
Commenting, Jo said:
“While it’s good news that the Kirkintilloch community has been reunited under the Boundary Commission’s proposals, dividing up the Bearsden and Milngavie area will cause confusion and risks marginalising the community’s voice. My recent e-consultation has shown that local people are overwhelmingly against that part of the proposals, with the response from Lenzie resident Eunice Wood summing up local opinion succinctly: ‘No!’ to the Bearsden split and ‘yes!’ to the Kirky cohesion.’
“Bringing Kirkintilloch back together in one constituency would lead to more effective representation and less confusion: at my regular advice surgeries residents from the eastern part of Kirkintilloch often turn up mistakenly thinking I am their MP.
“The changes that I have suggested to the Boundary Commission are that ideally, the East Dunbartonshire constituency should mirror the local Council area. Given that this would make it just about 350 people too big for the allowed maximum size, the boundary should follow existing community lines in the East: so villages like Twechar and Waterside could retain their distinct and separate village identity and links to Kilsyth, while Bearsden and Milngavie would remain united as a community in the West. The Boundary Commission are still welcoming views on their plans, so do get in touch and submit your comments here:https://consultation.scottishboundaries.gov.uk/“