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The Proposed New Boundaries for Folkestone and Hythe Constituency

Proposed new Constituency Boundaries for Folkestone and Hythe

The first proposed draft boundaries for Folkestone and Hythe constituency are the current Folkestone and Hythe District Council boundary minus Elham Valley (North Downs East and North Downs West wards).

Folkestone and Hythe constituency is currently the full district plus Saxon Shore ward from Ashford BC, but population growth on the electoral roll was always likely to see the constituency at least revert to the District boundary. That there are now too many people in the district to fit in one constituency (on the Government's rules) so a part of the district needs to go to a neighbouring seat.

More details and much better maps on the Boundary Commission for England's website.

This is now open to consultation. Needs looking at carefully, and remembering that a change in one seat has an equal and opposite change in another: it's a complex jigsaw.

Important thing to note: these proposed boundaries are NOT the work of the District Council or anyone else locally - they are the proposals of the Boundary Commission for England, to consult on, in order to "balance up" the number of voters for each MP in the country (see below for the figures).

From the Democratic Services Manager at F&HDC (the very able Paul Butler):

Today marks the start of the review which will be completed by 2023. The initial proposals are open to consultation from now until Tuesday 02 August 2021. Please note that this review is relating to Parliamentary boundaries and not Local Government boundaries.

At www.bcereviews.org.uk you are able to type in your postcode to check the Parliamentary boundary that your property falls in, read supporting documents and submit a comment or representation.
I have attached the crux of the proposal to this email; the new map.

Assumptions/implications from this initial proposal are:

  • A cap to the amount of electors per Parliamentary Constituency is being introduced. The number of electors per constituency should be no fewer than 69,724 electors and no more than 77,062. Our District is currently around 84,000 parliamentary electors.
  • To ensure our District area complies with this requirement the geographical landscape to our Constituency must change in size.

As a result of this proposal immediate reflections are:

  • The proposed new Folkestone & Hythe Constituency will have around 70,000 electors.
  • For Parliamentary elections, electors in the North Downs East and West District wards would complete a different ballot paper to that of the electors in the other 11 wards of our District. North Downs East (NDE) and North Downs West (NDW) will complete a ballot paper for the Ashford Constituency.
  • The NDE and NDW District wards would be "given away" to Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to verify and count for Parliamentary Elections. We would manage the polling stations for these wards for ABC but the ballot papers and postal packs of NDE/W electors would be handed to Ashford Borough Council to count along with their other Ashford Constituency wards.
  • All other District wards would receive the Folkestone & Hythe Constituency ballot paper.
  • The MP for NDE and NDW would be different to the rest of our District from 2023.