I support the proposed boundaries for the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency, released by the Boundary Commission today.
As the current Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, I submitted views on the Boundary Commission’s initial proposals in support of the revised boundaries. I would prefer not to lose any part of the constituency I represent but I recognise Plymouth Sutton and Devonport’s population is too large and Plymouth Moor View is too small.
Moving the KC and KD polling districts of Peverell from Plymouth Sutton and Devonport to Plymouth Moor View seems a sensible proposal that minimises disruption to residents. I believe Outland Road and Wolseley Road – both large four lane roads – represent clear natural boundaries between the two proposed constituencies.
These communities share many of the school catchment areas with the Ham ward of Plymouth Moor View and use the same local shops. In terms of housing type and demographics, the communities on either side of Beacon Park Road are similar.
I disagree with proposals by the local Conservative Party to move Keyham into Plymouth Moor View. This proposal was made before the mass-shooting of 12 August 2021 that affected the communities of Keyham and Ford.
Our response as a city has been cross-party and city-wide and one of the key principles of that work has been that no decisions about Keyham and Ford should be made without their involvement and that both Keyham and Ford should receive the same support and approach.
The proposal by the local Conservative Party to move Keyham into Plymouth Moor View but retain Ford within Plymouth Sutton and Devonport does not honour that commitment. I understand that the Conservatives’ proposals were made before the shooting took place but given the situation has changed considerably since then, I do not believe this is a wise course of action.
I also believe that splitting HMNB Devonport and Devonport Dockyard between two Members of Parliament does not provide a consistency of representation that reflects the considerable volume of local issues the presence of a considerable industrial and military presence creates. I support the Boundary Commission’s assertion that having the base and dockyard represented by a single MP may be preferable to splitting it.