Leader of North Kesteven District Council has reservations about boundary changes to parliamentary seat

The Leader of North Kesteven District Council has expressed her views on proposed boundary changes to the Sleaford and North Hykeham Parliamentary constituency.
Coun Marion Brighton - Leader of NKDC. EMN-160914-161806001Coun Marion Brighton - Leader of NKDC. EMN-160914-161806001
Coun Marion Brighton - Leader of NKDC. EMN-160914-161806001

Under the initial proposals following a review by the Independent Boundary Commission for England ordered by the Government. North Hykeham and part of Waddington would come under the Lincoln seat and a new, renamed Sleaford constituency would be created to reduce the imbalance in voter figures currently.

The Kirkby La Thorpe and South Kyme ward and the Heckington Rural ward within North Kesteven would be added to boost the voter figures in Boston and Skegness.

North Kesteven District Council Leader Marion Brighton says her initial thoughts over the proposals affecting North Kesteven are mixed.

She told The Standard: “The suggestion of transferring the North Hykeham wards, together with Skellingthorpe and lower Waddington into the Lincoln Parliamentary Constituency is very much in line with what we recommended previously, before the last Boundary Review took effect in 2010.

“This was subsequently rejected, but I think that it still very much makes sense.

“The change would also bring Bracebridge Heath and upper Waddington back into the Sleaford constituency.

“The proposal to transfer the North Kesteven wards covering Heckington, Kirkby la Thorpe, the Kymes, Helpringham and surrounding areas into the Boston and Skegness Constituency is new and I think will take some consideration.

“This would effectively bring the Boston constituency right up to the town boundary of Sleaford, whilst the Sleaford constituency would continue to take four South Kesteven wards and butt up to, and almost surround, Grantham.”

Individuals are encouraged to make their own views known to the Commission, she said: “While I completely understand and support the principle of making parliamentary constituencies equitable in terms of electorate, we do need to consider the implications with care.

“Presently Stephen Phillips has one of the country’s largest constituencies of 86,652 and that is far too large when there are others of just 50,000 or so.

“The proposal would give an electorate in a new Sleaford constituency of 74,561 (based on current registers) which is much more manageable and in line with the aim of bringing them all within the parameters of 78,507 or fewer than 71,031.

“It would mean that three different MPs have responsibility for the North Kesteven District: those covering the Lincoln, Sleaford and Boston and Skegness constituencies, and lead to an increase in elections administration.”

There is a 12-week consultation through to December 5 and all residents are urged to take a look at the proposals and give the Commission their views via website: www.bce2018.org.uk ; call: 0207 2761102 or email: [email protected]

* Read more about the proposed changes here.