New look boundary bombshell

KIRRIEMUIR and the surrounding villages of Westmuir, Glamis and Airlie – together with Glens Clova and Prosen - could be lumped in with Dundee East if proposals for new Westminster constituencies are given the green light ahead of the next General Election.

The Boundary Commission of Scotland, in its initial proposals for United Kingdom Parliament constituencies, has included a large swathe of Angus to be included in a new Dundee East and the Glens constituency.

Indeed the constituency, which would also include Carnoustie and Monifieth, would cut along as far as Oathlaw to the north of Forfar.

The remainder of the county, including Forfar and Brechin, would become part of the new Angus East and Kincardine constituency.

The proposals have left Kirriemuir Community Council chairman Roland Proctor dumfounded.

“It is a numbers game, pure and simple, with little thought given to the people who live in the respective areas,” he commented.

“The whole ethos of city life is completely different to that experienced by those who live in rural communities.

“Kirriemuir is so closely linked with Forfar, the towns are like twins, yet, despite being five miles apart, will be in different constituencies if the proposals get the green light.

“It’s as if administrators have carved up the country like a piece of cake, and not with people in mind. Angus should have remained as a constituency on its own and if it had to be expanded, why not into east Perthshire?”

Mr Proctor said his own view was that the Boundaries Commission had got this latest carve up all wrong, and it was likely that his fellow community council members would have something to say on the matter when they next meet at the end of the month.

Angus MP Mike Weir agreed that the changes were a result of playing a numbers game rather than looking at the interests of local communities.

“Whilst I am pleased that the proposals retain the bulk of the Angus seat together in the new Angus East and Kincardine seat I do not see the logic in detaching Kirriemuir and the Glens from Angus and including it in a Dundee city seat.

“These boundaries are the result of the Boundary Commission playing a numbers game rather than looking at the interests of local communities.

“The legislation pushed through by the coalition government makes clear that the overriding concern must be to make each seat of a similar size of electorate, and this has resulted in these proposals.

“The proposals are now out for consultation and I would urge all local people to look closely at what is proposed for Angus and to make their feelings known to the Boundaries Commission.”

The public consultation process lasts from 12 weeks, starting from Thursday of last week, and running until Wednesday, January 4.

It is all part of a process that will see the number of United Kingdom Parliament constituencies reduced from 59 to 52 in time for the next General Election

Further information on the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals for your area can be found by logging on to the following website – www.bcomm-scotland.gov.uk/6th_westminster/