Boundary change plans for East Dunbartonshire constituency

Final recommendations for new parliamentary boundaries have been released, which propose moving parts of Bearsden out of the East Dunbartonshire constituency.

Friday, 19th October 2018, 12:26 pm
Updated Friday, 19th October 2018, 12:27 pm

However, the boundary commission review still needs the backing of MPs and peers at the UK parliament.

The plans propose cutting the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster from 59 to 53.

The renamed “Dunbartonshire West” would expand from Dumbarton and Clydebank to include part of Bearsden.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson is against the proposals.

She said this week: “The final proposals for East Dunbartonshire will come as a disappointment to many in Bearsden, where more than 5,700 residents in Baljaffray, Castlehill and Thorn are still set to be lumped in with West Dunbartonshire for Parliamentary representation.

“I campaigned to keep Bearsden together and to minimise the impact of boundary changes on local people.

“More than 170 people wrote in to oppose the Boundary Commission’s original proposals, which showed the strength of local feeling.

“These plans place arbitrary divisions in East Dunbartonshire communities and accordingly I will oppose them when they are put to Parliament in a vote.”

West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said: “There’s no appetite at present for these boundary changes in West Dunbartonshire or in other affected constituencies across Scotland.

“It was made very clear when these plans were first introduced that extending the West Dunbartonshire seat to include half of Bearsden after dividing it in two is daft and does not reflect existing communities locally.”

Parliament approved the principle of reducing the number of MPs in 2011. Since then, the Boundary Commission in Scotland and other parts of the UK were meant to redraw constituencies lines every five years to account for population shifts. But this did not materialise and the 2015 and 2017 elections were fought on the same boundaries.