New Boundaries for Gedling?
The government is looking to change most parliamentary boundaries before the next General Election, expected in 2015. Unlike most boundary reviews this is a wholesale change with the aim of reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
This has resulted in some bizarre proposals, and the citizens of Rushcliffe, Arnold and Gedling will find it difficult to work out who their MP is.
At first sight it seems like a good idea to make all parliamentary seats the same size and to have fewer MPs. Some might think the fewer the better.
Normally the boundary commission try to keep communities together to maintain a sense of local identity. What we are seeing this time though are the consequences of the Boundary Commission being set to work with same size constituencies being the only objective. So now we see chunks of Gedling being added to a new Nottingham City seat while the rest is fragmented.
There is another problem associated with this change. In the 1951 General Election 92 per cent of the electorate who turned out voted Labour or Conservative. In 2010 only 65 per cent voted this way.
We are living in an era typified by people being more likely to vote for minority parties. The outcome of this change will make it considerably more difficult for parties with growing electoral support, such as the Green Party or UKIP, to have their success reflected in actual seats. We face the prospect of the well-supported Lib Dems being almost wiped out in the next General Election under the new boundary arrangements.
It is to be hoped that it is not too late for there to be a sensible outcome, at least with regards to Gedling and Arnold.
A Vision for Gedling Village
Other places such as Totnes in Devon and Todmorden in Yorkshire are already moving towards food and energy sustainability. We believe we can do the same but in a way that is customised and unique to Gedling. We propose simple, straightforward actions with minimal cost implications. All that they require are belief, imagination and enthusiasm. Some of the key actions we would see as supporting a plan for a sustainable Gedling are:
Our Vision is that people who live in or visit Gedling will see a place full of edible crops growing in every available space and freely available to all. We envisage local shops surrounded by thriving fruit trees and herbs. All people living in Gedling would benefit from living in this environment.