We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Lib Dems angry over moving Elmbridge to Tewkesbury

September 10, 2018 3:07 PM

Elmbridge Lib Dem councillors Emily Ryall and Howard HymanThe Liberal Democrats have branded proposals to move Elmbridge out of Gloucester and into Tewkesbury as "farcical".

The Boundary Commission for England has published its final recommendations for the review of parliamentary boundaries which will see the Elmbridge area of Gloucester be represented by an MP from a town 12 miles away.

Under the move Elmbridge will join the neighbouring Longlevens in Tewkesbury, so that Quedgeley can be retained in Gloucester, rather than moving to Stroud.

The Liberal Democrats have long argued for Longlevens to return to Gloucester and have criticised the Boundary Commission for England for ignoring community and identity and concentrating on the numbers.

Councillor Howard Hyman, Liberal Democrat councillor for Elmbridge, said: "The Boundary Commission first proposed moving Elmbridge into Tewkesbury 12 months ago.

"That announcement came as a complete shock as the previous plan gave no indication of the loss of Elmbridge from Gloucester.

"We said then it was farcical and we spoke up for many local residents who agreed with us.

"I am really disappointed that our concerns have been ignored so that the Boundary Commission can make the numbers of the revised Gloucester constituency fit.

"I know local residents will be really angry about this. And don't forget it was the Labour Party that suggested moving Elmbridge into Tewkesbury in the first place."

Dr Rebecca Trimnell, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokeswoman for Gloucester, said: "I am really upset by this as the heart is being ripped out of Gloucester.

"Over the next few years Gloucester will be expanding with thousands of new homes being built. Which communities will be next to go? Will it be Kingsholm, Hempsted or Westgate?"

Dr Trimnell said she was pleased Quedgeley was being retained within the Gloucester constituency as residents identify far more with Gloucester than Stroud.

"The key to this review is identity and community and identity and community have been ignored," she said.

"We campaigned for Longlevens to be moved into Gloucester from Tewkesbury because the people of Longlevens identify far more with Gloucester than Tewkesbury.

"We thought the Boundary Commission had agreed to returning Longlevens to Gloucester.

"The furthermost boundary of Longlevens is just a mile from the city centre.

"You can hear the roar from Kingsholm on match days - yet Longlevens and Elmbridge will be represented by an MP from a town 12 miles away.

"The Boundary Commission says the City of Gloucester is too large to be a single constituency. The reduction in the number of MPs and the 5% variation in constituency sizes is hurting Gloucester."

Dr Trimnell added: "These latest proposals have to be voted on in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

"I would urge Gloucester MP Richard Graham to vote against these proposals.

"The Government should stop wasting tax-payers' money and pull the plug on this review. Legislation to review parliamentary boundaries also needs amending."