Following reports from the SNP about the Boundary Commission's proposals to alter the boundaries of the East Dunbartonshire UK Parliamentary constituency, Jo Swinson MP would like to clarify the situation and reassure residents of Bishopbriggs South.
Here are some facts:
1. The proposed changes are to the Westminster constituency boundaries. Council boundaries are entirely unaffected, and therefore school catchments and Council Tax levels will remain untouched.
2. The numerical formula for calculating constituency boundaries is currently too narrow which leads the Boundary Commission to propose unnatural splitting of some communities.
3. The Liberal Democrats oppose the overall process on these grounds and argue that it should be scrapped in its entirety, and replaced with a more flexible approach that better respects community ties.
4. In 2016 the Boundary Commission originally proposed removing around 10,000 voters from East Dunbartonshire constituency and appending them to a neighbouring area.
5. Political parties had the opportunity to comment on the proposals. The local Liberal Democrats took the view that East Dunbartonshire is better kept together, but this was impossible under the flawed formula described above. Therefore in 2017 they outlined two options for minimising the number of local people affected in this way. One option involved 5,734 people in Bearsden, another option suggested an alternative where 4,384 people in Bishopbriggs would be affected.
6. The local SNP didn’t even bother to respond to the Boundary Commission proposals for East Dunbartonshire.
7. In October 2017 the Boundary Commission published its revised proposals which confirm the option of moving some parts of Bearsden into the West Dunbartonshire constituency. Bishopbriggs is entirely unaffected by these proposals.
8. At this point, knowing full well that Bishopbriggs is not going to be split between two constituencies, the SNP nonetheless produce leaflets which lead people to believe this is happening.
The SNP was running East Dunbartonshire Council until they fled their positions as the ruling administration not even six months after taking them up. There are many issues in Bishopbriggs that deserve their attention – such as the delayed relief road, the derelict High School site, parking problems, provision of nursery education and care for the elderly.
Instead they choose to scaremonger about something which isn’t even happening.
You can find more details of the Boundary Commission's proposals here.