Bridlington MP’s constituency likely to stay

Bridlington MP Greg Knight.
Bridlington MP Greg Knight.

VOTERS from Bridlington are likely to be part of the same constituency in the next general election after plans to create a coastal East Yorkshire parliamentary seat were scaled back.

Greg Knight, MP of the current East Yorkshire seat which includes Bridlington, has welcomed the amended proposals which would not see the East Yorkshire constituency carved up.

Under the original proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission, Bridlington’s voters could have been separated from those further inland and bunched together with coastal communities along the east coast from Speeton to Spurn Point in a new East Yorkshire seat.

Although Driffield, Pocklington and Market Weighton would have been left out of the boundary to join the Beverley seat, Hutton Cranswick and Nafferton would still have been a part of East Yorkshire.

Now Mr Knight, who has represented East Yorkshire since 2001, has welcomed new changes to the plans which would see the current East Yorkshire constituency remain relatively untouched.

Mr Knight said: “To have divided up the East Riding, ignoring geographical, commercial and social ties that exist between constituencies would have been madness. I am delighted that the Boundary Commission has listened to our arguments.”

When the plans were first announced in 2011, Mr Knight told the Free Press that he believed the changes to the East Yorkshire seat were made “to make figures work elsewhere” and that under the plans, he would stand to lose 50% of his current seat and gain voters who are currently represented by other MPs.

He still vowed to stand at the next election, saying he was “proud to live” in East Yorkshire.

The changes were drawn up by the boundary commission as part of a government shake up to make the size of all constituencies in the country more equal.

Mr Knight said that the new Boundary Commission proposals follow precisely the arguments put forward by he and Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, who made representations “arguing strongly for greater continuity” and the retention of their existing constituencies.

Mr Stuart, who has represented the Beverley and Holderness seat since 2005, said: “We both welcome this revised proposal, which means no local electoral disruption and the two seats of Beverley & Holderness and East Yorkshire are rightly to be left intact.”

Currently, Greg Knight is responsible for the northern part of the East Riding from Bridlington, through Driffield to Pocklington and Market Weighton.

Across Yorkshire, 54 constituencies would be reduced to 50 if the proposals are adopted - with Humberside and east Yorkshire reducing from ten seats to nine.

Still, the revised plans are by no means certain to be implemented before the next election.

The Lib Dems say that changes cannot happen before the next election - scheduled for 2015 - while the Government has come under attack from Labour MPs over the £12 million cost of the Boundary Commission report.