Nigel Dodds: Boundary Commission’s constituency proposals need radical change

The 18 Northern Ireland constituencies, which will be cut to 17 for Stormont and Westminster
The 18 Northern Ireland constituencies, which will be cut to 17 for Stormont and Westminster

The DUP has been a consistent critic of the proposals to reduce the number of constituencies in the UK in general and Northern Ireland in particular.

Northern Ireland’s revised proposals will come later than the rest of the UK because the unplanned Assembly election has caused a delay in the process.

Letters

Letters

In Northern Ireland, there is widespread unease with the Boundary Commission’s provisional recommendations.

The concerns with the commission’s first proposals are spread across the political spectrum and by community organisations.

The Commission has tried to satisfy the mathematics but has not satisfied the respect for existing boundaries and local ties that their proposals must also meet.

The decision to cut Belfast to three seats results in bad boundaries for the capital city and the domino effect this decision has across Northern Ireland means cities, towns and villages are unnecessarily divided.

The likes of Lisburn, Portadown, Carryduff and Dungannon are split across different constituencies while Newtownabbey/Glengormley is divided across four.

In the border area, constituencies which should require little change are radically redrawn.

We are very pleased to see that other parties and leading commentators are coming to the same view as ourselves regarding the need to see a thorough, radical change in the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals.

The next stage of the review provides the Boundary Commission the space to reflect deeply on the views expressed and fully utilise the opportunity to bring forward new and revised proposals that meet those concerns and better meet the legislative requirements.

Nigel Dodds MP, DUP deputy leader, North Belfast