All responses submitted to the consultation on the recommendations for new constituency boundaries, including a Bideford and Bude seat, are now available online. The "Boundary Commission for England" has allowed people to comment further on the responses until midday on 3rd April 2012.
If you want to see what people have said and make comment, go to http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/
I have looked at a number of the responses and I am particularly disappointed at the three main London-based political parties. They are fully aware of the strength of feeling in Cornwall, but have failed to even go through the motions of spilling a few more crocodile tears on this issue.
The official Conservative document contains fine words about respecting “county” boundaries and council boundaries, where possible, but goes on to support the “proposal to combine the counties of Cornwall and Devon” for the purposes of allocating parliamentary seats. They also state: “We support the Commission’s decision to cross the Cornwall-Devon border in the north of both counties.”
The Liberal Democrats also back an electoral Cornwall and Devon sub-region and have little to say on the cross-Tamar constituency, other than that they “accept the BCE’s proposal.”
The Labour Party meanwhile states: “We support the overall pattern proposed by the Commission, and many of the specific proposals, including … the creation of the new Bideford and Bude CC.”
The ongoing refusal of Coalition MPs and their parties to protect the territorial integrity of Cornwall suggests that the situation is bleak. But it is clear that there is growing anxiety amongst MPs, including some Cabinet members, about the final outcome of the boundary review.
MPs will have a vote in 2013 as to whether the changes are acceptable and it has been revealed that many, who face losing their seats and livelihoods, could oppose the changes. Tory Minister Ian Duncan Smith has even appealed to the Prime Minister to ditch the whole process.
So we may yet prevent a Devonwall seat becoming a reality, but we do need to keep pressure on MPs and their political parties.