Hitchin and Harpenden constituency set to be broken up in boundary changes - could our town have a new MP?

  Posted: 09.06.21 at 08:52 by LAYTH YOUSIF @HitchinNubNews

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Plans to break up the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency have been revealed.

Major changes to parliamentary constituencies up and down the country including Hitchin have been proposed, with potential significant implications for MPs everywhere, including our town's parliamentarian Bim Afolami.

In a review of constituency boundaries announced by the boundary commission on Tuesday, could our town get a new MP?

Mr Afolami is the present incumbent with a majority of 6,895. He told Hitchin Nub News it was an 'interesting proposal.' Read HNN later for a full reaction from Mr Afolami.

Boundary commission changes to Hitchin and Harpenden

In the proposals, the changes appear to see Hitchin become a standalone constituency.

The proposed changes would see Hitchin become a standalone constituency. PICTURE: A map of how the new Hitchin constituency would look. CREDIT: The Boundary Commission

While Harpenden will then become Harpenden and Berkhampsted.

The Boundary Commission said the number of constituencies in the Eastern region which includes Hitchin will increase from 58 to 61.

By law every constituency they propose has to contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors.

They say they also have to consider 'local ties, geographic factors, local government boundaries and existing constituencies' while 'minimising disruption caused by any proposed changes.'

However, in trying to equalise the prospective populations of constituencies, it has in some cases been necessary to cross county or local authority boundaries.

The Commission explained: "We are consulting on our initial proposals for an eight-week period, from 8 June 2021 to 2 August 2021.

"We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to help us shape the new constituencies – the more responses we receive, the more informed our decisions will be when considering whether to revise our proposals."

History of the Hitchin and Harpenden seat

The constituency was created at 1997 general election from others former Hertfordshire seats.

Before that year our town was included in the abolished North Hertfordshire constituency while Harpenden was in the St Albans constituency, with the village of Wheathampstead being part of the Welwyn Hatfield constituency.

The seat's first MP was Peter Lilley. Mr Lilley was a former Secretary of State for various government departments in the John Major government in the 1990s.

He held the seat from 1997 to 2015 before announcing he would not contest the seat at the 2017 general election.

He was succeeded in 2017 by Mr Afolami, who retained it at the 2019 general election.

For more information visit the consultation portal at here which has more information about the proposals and how to give us your views on them.

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