Writing for the Redditch Standard (July 9th), Rachel said:
“Over the years you’ve probably seen a lot of talk about reforming the size of constituency boundaries so that every MP in the House of Commons represents roughly the same number of constituents.
“Well, there’s be another boundary review. Unlike the last one, the aim of this review wasn’t to reduce the number of MPs; the number of MPs will be staying the same at 650, but instead to ensure each constituency contains the same number of voters.
“Currently, there are huge disparities in the size of parliamentary constituencies. And the size of the constituency doesn’t affect an MP’s resource or budget – all MPs are given the same budget regardless of how many constituents they represent.
“The rules of the current review require that every recommended constituency across the UK – apart from five specified exceptions – must have an electorate that is no smaller than 69,724 and no larger than 77,062.
“This means that we will see changes to the Redditch constituency. The review has found the current size of the constituency is too small by about 11%, so according to the review’s initial proposals, the constituency of Redditch County will gain Dodderhill, Harvington and Norton from the Mid Worcestershire constituency. This will see around 4,400 voters join our constituency. Apart from gaining three areas from Mid Worcestershire, the rest of our constituency will remain the same.
“We’re currently on stage 2 of this process with the independent commission carrying out an eight-week consultation on their initial proposals which closes next month.
“Then in early 2022, a six-week secondary consultation period will take place. The purpose of this further consultation is for people to see what others have said in response to the independent boundary review’s initial proposals.
“Towards the end of next year, the boundary review will then publish its revised recommendations and then in 2023, the recommendations will be set out in a published report to the Speaker of the House of Commons, who will lay it before Parliament.
“Whatever happens and whatever the independent boundary review’s final recommendations suggest, the size of our constituency has to increase. All of this work is being carried out by an independent commission to ensure fairness and to rightly remove the decision-making process from politicians.
“I will continue to work hard for my constituents, and make sure I understand the issues in all parts of the constituency, including any new areas we gain. It’s often forgotten that I already have a large section of rural Worcestershire and villages to represent even though the constituency is called Redditch, so I see many issues that affect these communities.”