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MP shake-up for Norwich

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith.

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People in Drayton and Taverham would find themselves represented by the Norwich North MP if a proposed redrawing of the country’s political map goes ahead.

But Norwich South would remain unchanged, one of just 77 seats where no alterations are put forward under the shake-up suggested by the Boundary Commission for England.

The review is designed to cull the number of MPs by 50 to 600 and the move was launched by the government in an attempt to iron out discrepancies in constituency electorates.

The rules state that every constituency in England, bar two on the Isle of Wight, must have an electorate of between 72,810 and 80,473 - 5pc either side of the electoral quota of 76,641.

In Norfolk, that means changes have to be made to Norwich North, Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk to bring them up to within 5pc of the electoral quota.

That would see Taverham North and South and Drayton North and South removed from Conservative MP Keith Simpson’s current Broadland constituency and added to Norwich North, to bring the electorate up to 76,747.

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North, said: “These are initial proposals and are subject to several rounds of further consultation, both publicly and in parliament.

“They would not take effect until 2015 in any case. My view is that I look forward to contunuing to serve Norwich North if I am elected to do so.”

A new Broadland and Dereham constituency would be created, containing 16 wards from Broadland district and 12 from Breckland district.

Norwich South, currently held by Liberal Democrat Simon Wright, would remain unchanged, with an electorate of 73,569. There would be only a minor change to the existing South Norfolk constituency, held by Conservative Richard Bacon, which had already been reduced at last year’s general election.

The existing Great Yarmouth constituency, held by Conservative Brandon Lewis, would be extended to the north by taking three wards currently in Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb’s North Norfolk constituency - Stalham and Sutton, Waterside and Waxham.

The changes still have to be approved by the House of Commons and would be introduced for the next general election in 2015.

Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pledged in their manifesto to cut the size of the Commons, but the shake-up could create potential battles for some senior figures who face serious disruption or the disappearance of their seats.

They include justice secrerary Ken Clarke, business secretary Vince Cable, shadow chancellor Ed Balls, energy secretary Chris Huhne and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron.

A two-day public hearing about the changes will be held at City Hall in Norwich from 11am until 8pm on Thursday, November 3 and from 9am until 5pm on Friday, November 4.

• What do you think of the proposed changes? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk


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