Election changes could link Hucknall with city

HUCKNALL'S Conservative MP, Mark Spencer
HUCKNALL'S Conservative MP, Mark Spencer

BOMBSHELL predictions have been made that Hucknall and Bulwell will be tied together in a single constituency under widesweeping changes to Parliamentary boundaries.

Conservative bigwigs in Westminster want to ‘equalise’ constituencies across the UK to make sure that each MP represents broadly the same number of voters — roughly about 76,000.

And information from the Democratic Audit suggests that the scheme would result in major changes in the Dispatch district.

The upshot could see Hucknall’s current Conservative MP, Mark Spencer, losing his seat as the town is swallowed up into a constituency entitled Nottingham North and Hucknall.

However, although the analysis from the Democratic Audit casts doubt over his Parliamentary seat, Mr Spencer says he fully backs the review of constituency boundaries.

He said: “This process will definitely happen, without a doubt. The Parliamentary boundaries will change.

“But the thing is, no-one has a clue in what direction this will go or how it will happen. Things are at a very early stage.

“Politicians and journalists are having great fun speculating. But that’s all it is at the moment — speculation.

“I am committed to this and I fully support the idea of the boundary review.

“This thing is bigger than me and I think we need to do what is best for the whole country.

“Unfortunately, I would have to just suck it and see when it came to the next election. That’s life.”

Mr Spencer surprised political commentators by winning the Sherwood seat, which includes Hucknall and covers 72,000 voters, at the General Election in May last year.

He took over from outgoing Labour MP Paddy Tipping, who had held the seat for 18 years.

But Mr Spencer is in a precarious position with a majority of just 214 votes, which was secured only after a recount.

Should the changes go ahead as suggested, Hucknall would fall within the Labour stronghold of Nottingham North, which is currently held by Graham Allen.

Mr Allen, who lives in Bulwell, has been the town’s MP since 1987 and although reduced, his majority at the last General Election was 8,138.

The rest of Sherwood would become part of Bolsover, which is another safe Labour seat, held by Dennis Skinner.

Mr Spencer added: “The bottom line is that it is unfair for some MPs to be representing up to 120,000 voters and for others to have constituencies that cover just 30,000.

“If the process starts at Land’s End, it could ripple up the country and affect every MP and every constituency. I support this and would deal with the consequences. But I would not like to see Hucknall pushed into the city.”