Sutton Coldfield and Erdington Liberal Democrats have voted to reject the proposals made by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) in respect of our two local Parliamentary constituencies. The BCE proposals which would split the historic town of Sutton Coldfield by moving New Hall Ward into Erdington and which would mean Kingstanding moving from Erdington into Sutton were unanimously rejected by local Liberal Democrat members at their Annual General Meeting on 30 November.
Commenting on the BCE proposals, local party chair Graham Lippiatt said: "While we welcome the reduction in the overall number of MPs and seats in the House of Commons, and understand constituency sizes have to be increased, we think it is right to try and preserve existing constituencies as far as possible. It is important to respect the community ties that exist in our area. New Hall and Kingstanding wards have almost equal numbers of electors and swapping them between Sutton and Erdington constituencies is quite unnecessary in terms of making up the numbers required for new seats. Both our local constituencies have their own identities and histories which are very important to their residents and we believe it is entirely consistent with what the BCE is trying to achieve to leave them as they are. We do acknowledge that Erdington needs more electors to meet the new constituency size and would reluctantly agree with the BCE proposal to supplement Erdington with voters from nearby Castle Bromwich with its historical, geographical and transport links between Castle Bromwich and Tyburn Wards as well as the common employment provider in the Jaguar Land Rover plant."
Local Liberal Democrats have also rejected a counter-proposal from the regional party that a wholly new Erdington constituency should be created with the loss of Kingstanding to Perry Barr and the addition of not only Castle Bromwich ward from Solihull Borough but of Hodge Hill and Shard End wards. Local party Vice-Chair Cllr Ann Holtom: "This proposal would totally alter the size, shape and character of Erdington constituency. It would be a completely artificial entity, split in half by the M6, and there are no strong shared history or community ties which could justify putting these disparate areas together."