Torbay escapes unscathed from planned revamp of political map
TORBAY is one of four Devon seats to escape unscathed from a planned revamp of the political map.
Revised changes are proposed to Central Devon and Newton Abbot, with the creation of a new South Devon constituency.
Boundary bosses said the change of name from Totnes reflected the geography of the seat and the wishes of the local community.
Central Devon sees its eastern border move westwards with the loss of two wards to the proposed Newton Abbot constituency, although it keeps the ward of Ashburton and Buckfastleigh.
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And two wards move back from Newton Abbot constituency to the proposed new seat of South Devon.
The Boundary Commission report said of the revised changes in Devon: "We believe that on balance, and taken as a whole, these interdependent changes are more in tune with the existing pattern of constituencies, take account of geographical considerations, take better account of local authority boundaries and reduce the extent to which local ties are broken by changes."
The overhaul of electoral boundaries is aimed at slashing the number of Westminster seats by 50 down to 600 and iron out discrepancies in constituency electorates.
Following the publication of the latest proposals, Tory MP for Totnes Dr Sarah Wollaston said: "I am delighted with the revised boundary proposals and that Marldon and Blatchcombe will stay within the constituency.
"Under the proposals the new constituency boundary will also include Erme Valley and Charterlands with a total electorate of 73,354.
"As the new constituency boundary will now include the whole of the South Hams as well as Southern Torbay, extending to Holne on Dartmoor, I think it is absolutely right that the name of the constituency will change to 'South Devon' to accurately and more inclusively reflect its geography.
"I hope that all MPs will support the boundary changes to ensure that each and every constituent has an equal vote."
But it is unclear if the proposals will even proceed after the Liberal Democrats led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg pulled the plug on backing the planned overhaul of the electoral map after proposals for House of Lords reform had to be scrapped in the face of entrenched opposition from Conservative MPs along with Labour's refusal to back a crucial timetable for the legislation.
Mr Clegg had claimed the Conservatives had broken the coalition 'contract' and that, as a result, his Liberal Democrat MPs could no longer support changes to constituency boundaries for the 2015 general election.