The officials behind a boundary review which proposes that Portslade is renamed Brighton West have said that they expect and welcome feedback about the controversial suggestion.
Brighton and Hove News reported the proposed new name for the Hove parliamentary constituency – Hove and Brighton West – earlier this week.
Elected representatives said that the idea was “ludicrous” and “nonsense” – and Portslade councillor Peter Atkinson said: “Someone has got their geographical wires totally and utterly crossed.”
For some years, Labour and Conservatives have informally called the seat Hove and Portslade so that it recognises both towns.
None of the constituency is in the western part of Brighton which forms the Brighton Pavilion seat.
Asked about the choice of name, the Boundary Commission for England said that voters often had strong feelings about what their constituency was called.
A Boundary Commission official said: “We’re expecting representations from members of the public as well as MPs – and we welcome that.
“We want to encourage interaction so that we have as good an understanding as possible of people’s views and the strength of feeling.”
Councillor Atkinson said: “It’s a total nonsense. It’s an insult to the people of Portslade.”
And the Labour MP for Hove, Peter Kyle, said: “I’m going to complain about the name. It makes no sense whatsoever.”
Other than the name, the Boundary Commission is recommending no changes to the Hove seat as it redraws the political map to ensure seats have an average of 73,393 voters.
The law requires 645 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons to have no fewer than 69,724 voters – 95 per cent of the average – and no more than 77,062 – or 105 per cent. The five exceptions include the Isle of Wight.
Hove had 73,726 electors on the qualifying date – in March last year – and Brighton Pavilion had 76,854. But Brighton Kemptown, with 68,733 voters, had too few.
As a result, the Boundary Commission has proposed that Hanover and Elm Grove ward becomes part of the Brighton Kemptown constituency instead of Brighton Pavilion.
And it wants Queen’s Park ward to become part of the Brighton Pavilion constituency instead of Brighton Kemptown.
The end result will be that Brighton Kemptown has 69,737 voters while Brighton Pavilion has 75,850.
The Boundary Commission added: “Consultation is currently open until Monday 2 August 2021. Please make sure we receive your response by that date at the latest or it will not be considered.”
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