By Tom Moseley, Parlimanetary Correspondent
This is how Bristol’s new electoral map will look if plans to redraw constituency boundaries are given the go-ahead.
The Boundary Commission for England has announced proposals to redraw constituencies as part of a plan to reduce the number of MPs nationwide from 650 to 600.
The Filton and Bradley Stoke seat could be broken up after only five years in existence, while neighbouring Thornbury and Yate could be divided in two, with parts of the Filton seat added to each new constituency.
A new Kingswood and Keynsham seat would also be created under the plans.
Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb is remaining tight-lipped on where he will chose to run if the controversial recommendations are upheld.
The Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister’s constituency was seen as being the worst-affected in the Bristol region.
He must now choose whether to stand in the new Thornbury and Filton seat, likely also to be contested by Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti, at the next general election, or run in Yate, which includes a number of Conservative strongholds from south of the M4, including Downend, Mangotsfield, Staple Hill and Emersons Green. Just over 14,000 voters currently in Mr Lopresti’s constituency would come under the Yate seat.
He told the Evening Post this choice was not something he was thinking of at this stage.
He added: “The party is going to respond with a coherent view, region by region. The time will come when we will want to respond in a considered way, rather than shouting about it.”
Asked whether he was disappointed with the outcome, he added: “I am not going to start speculating.”
One local councillor has reacted with fury to Bradley Stoke being, as he put it, “wiped off” the political map in an act of “electoral genocide”.
District and town councillor, and former mayor, Robert Jones, said: “If this proposed name is accepted the national standing of Bradley Stoke will be weakened and its residents will feel underrepresented.
“I urge you to reconsider the name and restore Bradley Stoke within it as Bradley Stoke, Thornbury and Filton.
“Increasingly powers have been devolved, so do we need such a heavy central government? We don’t think that you do.
“And rather than one MP representing 50,000 people and another representing 100,000 people, it’s more even across the country so everybody’s vote has much more of an even impact.”
There is growing anger in Westminster from MPs who had seen their constituencies decimated. Conservatives held a meeting to discuss the review, while Liberal Democrats were criticised for backing the legislation that has left their party faring particularly badly in some areas.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles told the Evening Post the commission had made “some very peculiar decisions”.
“I haven’t in truth made any assessment in terms of what it’s eventually going to look like – I’ve seen some very peculiar decisions,” he said, adding that he could understand colleagues being upset because of the “great emotional attachment” to their seats.