Jo has urged people to fight Scottish Boundary Commission proposals to split Milngavie and Bearsden under new Westminster constituency boundaries.
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, the Bearsden North ward would join with West Dunbartonshire to become a new West Dunbartonshire and Bearsden constituency. The rest 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.
The Scottish Boundary Commission is now inviting views from the public on the proposals, and Jo attended a public hearing session in Glasgow to put her views forward. Representatives from Milngavie Community Council, Bearsden North Community Council and Bearsden East Community Council also attended and spoke out against the current proposals.
Commenting, Jo said:
“My most recent e-consultation found that out of around 150 responses, 75% opposed the Boundary Commission’s proposals, the vast majority of whom were opposed to splitting Milngavie and Bearsden. At the public hearing I put forward the case to retain the Milngavie and Bearsden community in one constituency, and it’s now time for local people to continue that fight.
“Splitting half of Bearsden off from the rest of the town and from Milngavie would mean dividing what is a naturally very integrated area – in terms of shops, services, transport and local government. With a joint coat of arms and links going back centuries, the shared history and sense of community is highly significant. Half of Bearsden would be only a small part of the new West Dunbartonshire and Bearsden constituency, and many people told me they are worried that their views would be marginalised.
“There are alternatives the Boundary Commission could propose. For example, the community of Drumchapel shares many transport and shopping links with West Dunbartonshire and could more logically join with that area instead of half of Bearsden doing so. We know from the past that the Boundary Commission often does listen to local community voices, if they are loud enough!
“Changing these plans to remove Bearsden North from the rest of Bearsden and Milngavie in Parliamentary representation will take a lot of public pressure, so please get in touch and submit your comments by emailing [email protected] or writing to Boundary Commission for Scotland, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD by Wednesday 4thJanuary.”