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Tuesday, October 19, 2021



Faceless bureaucrats in their Whitehall ivory towers, drawing lines on maps without a care for how they will affect us in our villages 100 miles away from the capital . . . where have we read those words before?

Oh yes, right here, in this column when the Local Government Boundary Commission decided Barnt Green and Hopwood would make a neat district council ward, despite being in different parishes. 

We can apply them again, this time to the Boundary Commission of England, which thinks it would be a good idea to bung a handful of our villages into the Redditch parliamentary constituency.

So, if you live in Cofton Hackett, Barnt Green, Lickey, Hopwood, Rowney Green, Weatheroak, Alvechurch or Bordesley, among others, you’ll be casting your vote for the Redditch MP rather than the one for Bromsgrove, currently Sajid Javid.

Some will say it doesn’t matter, yet one thing connects all of those villages (apart from their residents receiving this magazine, of course!) and that is that we are all in the district of Bromsgrove and our councillors all sit on the council in Bromsgrove.

And, as Alvechurch Parish Council is pointing out in its strong objection to the Boundary Commission’s proposals – which are intended to reduce the number of constituencies and equalise the numbers of voters in each – Redditch is primarily an urban constituency, while Bromsgrove is much more semi-rural in character.

The more cynical out there might also want to point out that Bromsgrove is a rock-solid Tory stronghold, which can afford to lose some of its Conservative-voting wards into Redditch, which since its creation in 1997 has elected a Labour MP as often as it has a Tory.

It will certainly make Redditch, for the past 20 years a” bellwether” constituency, more difficult to take back for Labour. We wonder if this is a pattern in all of the proposed constituency changes across the country.

We can, however, draw some comfort from the possibility that these changes, which mean reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, will never happen.

When they are put before Parliament next September, it will be like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas!

Talking of which, all of us here at The Village wish every one of you a peaceful and restful festive season, before a New Year filled with more uncertainty than this country has known for a very long time.