Opinion: Delyn Boundary Commission proposals will break traditional community connections
Ben Goldsborough, Deputy Mayor of Flint.
Boundary Commission for Wales: not words that usually spark much interest or passion, which is understandable. It’s a submarine government organisation. We know it exists and does an important job, but we rarely see it in action. That’s until now.
We are on the fourth, and final, Commission proposals for what happens to our constituency at Westminster. Delyn is no more. In its place we find a hotchpotch of Clwyd’s named after every point on the compass and a new supersized Alyn and Deeside.
Now that the dust has settled, we can see Bagillt and Flint will be ripped away from the towns of Holywell, Mold and Caerwys. It doesn’t make much sense to those of us who live here. Nor does Llangollen and Prestatyn being forced into the same constituency when they have never politically interacted with each other before. Traditional community connections will be broken by these proposals. They are fundamentally flawed for that reason alone.
Change was always coming
But we all knew change was coming. Wales has been hit the hardest by the UK Tory Government’s redrawing of constituency boundaries. Going from 40 to 32 seats was always going to be hard and would mean cross-county constituencies. Previous proposals saw Delyn, for example, growing into Denbighshire and incorporating Prestatyn, Ruthin and surrounding villages. This made some sense.
We can discuss the whys and wherefores of boundaries until the cows come home, but as Deputy Mayor of Flint I can tell you that our communities have bigger issues they care about.
In the last month people have seen the cost of their mortgage go up by an average £500 a year because of the failed policies of the UK Tory Government. You can walk our streets at night and see people moving about their homes using their mobiles for light because of a genuine fear about the cost of their energy bills. Families eating ever shrinking meals – parents even skipping them – because inflation has stripped away their pay. Businesses unable to keep their heads above water as people cut back on spending.
We face these challenges today because of a UK Tory Government that has lost its way. The selection of the third Prime Minister in as many months will not solve the issues they face. We have a UK government which is more obsessed with who’s up and who’s down within the soap opera that is Tory Party politics. Self-interest rules supreme over national. Bemoaning boundary changes does not fix this chaos.
For those of us who want to bring back respect, dignity and progress to our communities we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted. We must redouble our campaigning to secure a UK Labour Government to work hand-in-hand with our Welsh Labour Government.
Wherever people live they need Labour representation. I know I’m not going anywhere. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in and to deliver for the community I love. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and secure the change we believe in.
To see the new boundary proposals, visit: https://www.bcw-reviews.org.uk/
Ben Goldsborough is Deputy Mayor of Flint (2022-23) and Town Councillor for Flint, Coleshill Ward. Ben stood in the 2022 County Council elections in the ward of Northop – which is formed of the three villages of Northop, Sychdyn and Northop Hall.
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