Session 2010-11
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Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill [HL]

[Supplementary to the Revised Sixth Marshalled List]

Clause 10


Insert the following new Clause—

“Committee of Inquiry on Parliamentary constituencies

(1) There shall be a Committee of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, comprising members of both Houses of Parliament, including representatives of the principal political parties in the House of Commons, as well as individuals with no party attachment, and others.

(2) The Committee of Inquiry shall—

(a) review the current rules for conducting Parliamentary boundary reviews (contained in schedule 2 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986) considering in particular—

(i) how to address the inequality of constituency sizes;

(ii) how to stabilise the size of the House of Commons;

(iii) the relative importance of electoral equality against the specific character of individual constituencies, including the rules relating to geographical considerations, local ties and ‘inconveniences’, and the rules on crossing borough and county boundaries; and

(iv) make recommendations;

(b) examine in this context the question of the optimum size of a constituency taking into account the need to maintain the Union, the proper role of MPs in their constituencies and in Parliament, and the implications for these roles of the responsibilities of other representative bodies including local authorities and the House of Lords, and make recommendations;

(c) consider the implications of an optimum size for the House of Commons for an optimum size for the House of Lords, and make recommendations;

(d) review the time taken to conduct boundary reviews, particularly in England, and make recommendations;

(e) review the alignment between the timing of local and Parliamentary boundary reviews to ensure that stable local government electoral boundaries can form the basis for each parliamentary review, and make recommendations;

(f) examine the question of a role for keeping the operation of the rules under review and ensuring consistency of approach by the four Parliamentary Boundary Commissions, including monitoring their standards of performance, and make recommendations; and

(g) examine the arguments surrounding the statistical basis on which electoral areas are currently constructed, in particular whether the eligible population rather than electoral statistics should be used, and make recommendations.

(3) The Committee of Inquiry established under subsection (1) shall report to Parliament annually on its progress, and deliver a final report with recommendations to the Secretary of State within three years of the passing of this Act.

(4) Within 6 months of the Committee of Inquiry’s report the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament, for Parliament’s consideration, a scheme including draft Bills to implement the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry.”


Page 8, line 20, at end insert “and the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords”