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Boundary Commission Cupar & St Andrews

Boundary Commission Cupar & St Andrews

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THE local face of politics could drastically change under the biggest UK electoral shake-up in years.

Proposals released by a Boundary Commission review see the entire Levenmouth area, including the Wemyss villages, swallowed up by North East Fife’s constituency.

If adopted before the next General Election, areas traditionally seen as Labour strongholds will be bizarrely allied to voters who have kept Lib Dem Sir Menzies Campbell in Westminster since 1987.

The former Lib Dem leader issued a short statement, saying: “We have received the Boundary Commission for Scotland’s proposals and we will digest and respond to these at the local inquiry in due course.”

However, they have been roundly criticised by Lindsay Roy who, as MP for Glenrothes and Central Fife, has represented the majority of Levenmouth voters since 2008.

He said: “One of the Fife options considered by the Boundary Commission in the review was to retain a significant part of Levenmouth and the Wemyss villages in the new Glenrothes and Kirkcaldy constituency.

“This makes perfect sense to me and it is not clear why this option was rejected.

Mr Roy added: “Wherever possible, there should be continuity of representation and I will be pressing hard for the initial proposals regarding Levenmouth and the Wemyss villages to be reinstated.

“I have built up close working relationships with constituents in these areas and continuity of representation should be one of the main criteria when options are being considered.”

The UK-wide boundary review was prompted by the current coalition Government to reduce the number of parliamentary seats from 650 to 600.

In Scotland, 59 constituencies will be reduced to 52 and, for the first time, legislation has specified limits on the number of electors in each area – approximately 80,000.

Due to this, the Boundary Commission stated it was not possible to leave the boundaries as they currently are.

Secretary Hugh Buchanan said: “The Commission has worked intensively to design this set of constituencies, which we believe provide a good implementation of the rules set by Parliament.

“We now want to get people’s views on these proposals so we can improve them where the legislation allows us to do so.”

A public consultation runs until Wednesday, January 4, and the public can log their comments online through the Boundaries Commission website at www.bcomm-scotland.gov.uk

A public hearing, led by Sheriff Principal Alastair Dunlop, will also take place at Dundee City Chambers on Tuesday, November 29, from 10am.

MP Lindsay Roy believes had there been greater efforts across the UK to register eligible voters, there would have been less need to reduce the number of constituencies.

“In Central Fife, following the boundary changes for elections to the Scottish Parliament, the changes proposed in the Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes areas will cause further confusion amongst voters as the proposed UK electoral boundaries are completely different,” he said.

“I am keen to find out the views of constituents and they can contact me at lroymp@parliament.uk or by writing to me at 83a Woodside Way, Glenrothes, KY7 5DW.

He concluded: “In my view, the strongest voice for the Scottish people comes when MPs and MSPs work together in a broadly shared area standing up for Scottish interests and the interests of their constituents.”