Ayr to host meeting on UK seats change

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Ayr is to host a public meeting on proposals to reduce the number of UK parliamentary seats in Scotland.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland began a 12-week public consultation on its initial proposals for new constituencies on 20 October 2016 and this runs until 11 January 2017.

A public hearing is planned for Ayr Town Hall on 1 December (beginning at 10am). meetings will also be held in Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness and Edinburgh.

Those wishing to speak at any of the hearings are invited to notify the Commission in advance to enable us to schedule the meeting. Interested parties can also turn up on the day to follow the proceedings and make comments.

All comments submitted at public hearings will be transcribed and published along with written comments received during the initial consultation for a four-week period of public scrutiny in early Spring 2017. Lord Matthews, Deputy Chair of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: “The upcoming public hearing in Ayr is a crucial part of our public consultation process. With a number of boundary changes proposed, we look forward to the public engaging with the Commission on 1 December. We also welcome comments on any of our proposals at any of our hearings throughout Scotland and will reflect on responses to the consultation and make changes if needed, where the legislation allows us to do so.”

Each hearing has a geographical focus to reduce the need for those wishing to hear comments about particular areas to attend multiple hearings. Nevertheless, people can comment on any area at any hearing.

The hearings are part of the process to reduce the number of constituencies from 650 to 600, as required by the UK Parliament. In Scotland this means that 59 constituencies will be reduced to 53; in England from 533 to 501; in Wales from 40 to 29; and Northern Ireland from 18 to 17.

Each of the remaining 51 constituencies must not exceed the maximum permitted area of 13,000 square kilometres and be within five per cent of the UK electoral quota of 74,769.2

Due to the reduction in the number of constituencies, and the requirements for each constituency to have a number of electors within set limits, changes to constituencies are inevitable.

Those people who wish to comment on the initial proposals but are unable to attend a hearing in person are invited to submit comments on the Commission’s interactive consultation portal www.bcs2018.org.uk or in writing to the Commission at Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5HD or by email to comments@scottishboundaries.gov.uk