Mapping for Beginners …

If this book isn’t already available someone should write it and send the first copy to the Boundary Commission for Scotland. It might have helped them come up with something more sensible than their proposals for the new Westminster Parliament boundaries for the next UK General Election (if the Tories can force it through Parliament). A drunk spider dipped in ink could have done a better job.

boundary cssnOf course, the Boundary Commission had some guidelines to follow including the idea that all constituencies had to have roughly the same number of voters. The Western Isles and Orkney & Shetland were excluded from this but areas like Argyll, Bute and Lochaber are massive, how can the voters in that area get equal representation with a more urban constituency in Glasgow when the area to be covered by the MP is so large?

Of course, everyone will also notice that Scotland is having its number of MPs reduced (again); from 59 to 53. So much for the promises of the Better Together campaign, first the bring in EVEL (English Votes for English Laws) to exclude our MPs from issues which have a direct impact on Scotland but now the UK establishment goes one further and reduces the number of MPs from Scotland. Apparently now Yorkshire – a region of England – has more MPs than one of the constituent nations of the UK.

The proposals are now out for public consultation (deadline 11 December 2017) but the quality of the maps leave a lot to be desired. Zooming in on them doesn’t give any greater detail and it’s disappointing to realise that the Boundary Commission are using the old council boundaries when commenting on the proposed new Westminster constituencies (did they not know that council boundaries were changed for the election in May?).

In Renfrewshire we now see a new Paisley constituency which contains Renfrew, Barrhead, Uplawmoor and parts of Paisley! One slice of Paisley has been added to the Renfrewshire West constituency which includes Johnstone and Millport! The other change in Renfrewshire is Erskine moving into the Inverclyde constituency. Even if the new constituencies had to be strongly linked to some ideal number of constituents – surely there was a better way to keep towns like Paisley complete rather than hiving it off to a couple of constituencies. I believe the same can be said about quite a few of the new proposals.pen writing

I’ll be drafting up a response to complain about the proposals and would encourage everyone else to do so.

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