Parliamentary Constituencies Bill

Written evidence submitted by Liam Pennington (PCB01)

Parliamentary Constituencies Bill

Sirs,

With reference to the call for evidence to the Public Bill Committee for the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill, I hope I can be of some assistance.

I have submitted written and verbal evidence to three Reviews, twice as an "independent" and once as a co-author for a political party. I have attended public consultation sessions on many occasions. 

I would like to recommend two main points for the Committee during this consultation process. 

Each Boundary Commission carries out its work based on the legislative framework created by Parliament. The Commissions can only create constituencies based on the regulations, and if there are too many rules, there are too many restrictions on what the Commission can create. When legislation suggests a 5% quota, the "wiggle room" for each Commission is reduced. I would like the legislation to be absolutely clear about how much freedom each Commission has to create constituencies, including such details as splitting wards and crossing county borders. The more rules, the less creativity. 

During the previous, aborted review, the Boundary Commission for Wales worked with its understanding of the Welsh Language Act to recommend that each of its constituencies had two names, one in either English or Welsh and then an equivalent name in the other language. I would like the legislation to be absolutely clear on whether a constituency name should have an official translation, as the Welsh Commission proposed, or if there could be dual-titled constituencies. 

I wish the Committee well in its consultation and work. 

June 2020

 

Prepared 18th June 2020