PROPOSALS to keep Solihull as two parliamentary constituencies have been kept under latest proposed boundary changes.
Solihull and Meriden – currently represented by Conservative MPs Julian Knight and Dame Caroline Spelman respectively – will see no changes to those proposed a year ago by the Boundary Commission.
Last year the body scrapped plans to lump Meriden and Knowle in with Coventry North West’s Parliamentary constituency which would have seen the borough being redrawn into three Parliamentary constituencies rather than two.
Since the changes to the initial proposals a consultation was held.
The Commission states on its website: “In response to the consultation on our revised proposals, we received support for both constituencies in Solihull.
“There remained claims that the City of Birmingham ward of Sheldon had close ties with Solihull, which we had recognised in our initial proposals, but no valid counter-proposals were put forward that suggested alternative divisions of Solihull between two constituencies.
When making its final recommendation for the borough the Commission said: “Having considered the evidence received, we noted the significant level of support for our revised proposals and decided to make no further changes to the boundaries of our revised proposals for Solihull.”
Dame Caroline led a campaign to keep Solihull together pointing out that the Meriden constituency receives next to no services from Coventry and that its voice would be drowned out among the city concerns.
She said: “We have fought so hard for one Solihull not to be split into north, south, east and west so I want to
thank everyone who took the trouble to write in and make their views known.
“It has paid off. We are one borough.”
Solihull MP, Julian Knight, welcomed the news.
He said: “Obviously I am pleased that we retain two MPs for the borough but I’d have preferred to incorporate the name of Shirley into the seat.
If these favourable changes go through, it reinforces the fact that with the Lib Dems a very distant third the Solihull seat at the next election will be a straight fight between me as a modern, compassionate, moderate, Conservative who works 24/7 for his community and whomever momentum select to fight on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left Labour Party.”