Bid to abolish Amber Valley constituency

AMBER VALLEY would disappear as a parliamentary seat under sweeping new changes to boundaries as part of a bid to reduce the number of MPs.

The Boundary Commission is to reduce the number of MPs in England from 533 to 502 in time for a 2015 General Election.

Around 16,900 voters from Alfreton, Swanwick and Wingfield would be transferred to Bolsover, while Mid Derbyshire would expand to include 52,650 voters from Ripley and Heanor. The review has the aim of ensuring constituencies have roughly the same number of voters

Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills said: “It’s not a great idea. Alfreton has no links to Bolsover. Amber Valley as a council already has three MPs.

“I was hoping they would leave Amber Valley intact and add on the other bits of Amber Valley that aren’t in the parliamentary seat to make it more cohesive.

“I am elected to represent the current site, but it’s right that we reduce the number of MPs.

He added: “I would urge people to make representations if they’re concerned to get the best possible option.”

Critics say that the exercise is aimed at boosting Conservative chances of winning the next election.

But the Coalition Government says it wants to make sure all constituencies have the same number of voters and the current quota is 76,641.

Every constituency in England – except two covering the Isle of Wight – must have a number of registered electors within five per cent of this figure.

A 12-week consultation on the changes is under way and it closes on December 5.

Boundary Commission secretary Simon James said it was open to feedback. He added: “People can contribute via our website, they can write in or email us, or come and present their views at a public hearing in one of 36 venues around the country between now and November 18 this year.”

A public hearing is set for The Derby Conference Centre, London Road, Derby, on Thursday, October 27, from 10am to 8pm and the next day from 9am to 5pm.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland is due to publish its provisional proposals today, Thursday, October 13. Those for Wales will be announced in January. Final reports of boundary commissions for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have to be sent to Parliament by October 2013.