Parliamentary representation is the bedrock of British society today and is more important than has ever been. Great Grimsby is the principle town in the area, the economic centre, the work hub where people commute to. The proposal does not look at the split of Great Grimsby in the interests of the people that live or work here. If this proposal should be accepted it would mean that the principle town would lose its representation overnight. It could be argued and rightly so that the 2 MP’s would look after the majority in their constituency. The figures for Great Grimsby that you use is 58997 and only 57.63% of these vote a total of 34000. This compared with the rural seat of Cleethorpes 78507 and a turnout of 65.63% typically which is 51524 voters, anyone can see that if we half the numbers the rural seat of Cleethorpes will dominate the thoughts of both MPs. Cleethorpes having 25762 voters and Great Grimsby having just 17000 voters. This will not be satisfactory in the long term. The principle town of the area being under-represented will not be good for the residents of Great Grimsby, Cleethorpes Immingham and all the villages. This is argued on the point of economic centres being a lynch pin that economists talk about.
Midlands resident Aaron Fear’s statistical analysis of proposals for the Yorkshire and Humber region (BCE-30360) is referred to twice (3.34 and 3.37) in your revised proposals, but was not posted among comments on the either Grimsby, Brigg and Goole or Cleethorpes constituencies.
The Commission’s comments are selective in quoting individual responses to its initial proposal. Nelson Hunter’s description of the proposal as an acceptable compromise (BCE-39303) is mentioned without acknowledgement that others oppose splitting the town and have explained why. Peter Sutherland’s two sentence view (BCE- 39548) that the Commission’s proposals are better for maintaining areas with common interests and historic ties is noted, whereas a number of submissions with detailed opposing views are not highlighted. The Commission’s comments note Max Burnett’s assertion (BCE-39232) that initial proposals have ‘gained the most support from residents’. Max Burnett presents this statement ‘As I understand it...’ and does not explain the basis for it. George Kraviec’ parallel statement that he has come to the hearing in Hull because the proposal to split Grimsby is ‘causing great local concern’ is not mentioned.
On your feedback to the public, we believe it misrepresents the strength of feeling of the community against these proposals. For example, you have quoted disproportionately people who agree with the initial proposal. We dispute the validity of Max Burnett’s statement (BCE-39232) who said that the initial proposals have “gained the most support from residents” we believe this is made up. The facts are, there are more submission from the residents against the proposals than for them. However, anecdotally we know residents are not happy with the initial proposals, so how has he come to this view, and more concerning why would you publish.
The Grimsby 2gether campaign has Three main objectives:-
- ‘The proposals do not recognise or take into consideration Great Grimsby’s heritage or historic significance and disregard the town’s privileges as a Parliamentary and Municipal Borough;
- ‘The proposal to create two constituencies makes no economic or business sense and will not save costs to the public purse;
- ‘The proposals do not reflect geographic factors, sense of community or local ties.’
Which you have noted, but have not addressed. In her address, Shona McIsaac(BCE-40547) states that the memorial Hall and Cleethorpes railway station would be in Grimsby. Obviously this is factuallywrong, the Commission is not altering borough boundaries.
We note that split wards have featured in other parts of the country, namely Sheffield which is close to Great Grimsby. It is our belief that the Commission should take into consideration the geographical circumstances of Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes constituency. There Is an artificial regional boundary directly south and west of us and the river Humber to the east. This makes us into a narrow strip, and really difficult to gain the flexibility to develop robust constituencies and enhance community and cultural connections. In our view, this is why the Commission is making a flawed proposal, splitting communities, developing weak constituencies and not taking into consideration cultural heritage of the area. We believe that our geographical circumstances make the area a special circumstance and a solution would be to split one ward, namely Croft Baker.
The ward of Sydney Sussex and the polling districts of Croft Baker in our original proposal have more in common withGreat Grimsby than with the rural constituency of Cleethorpes and therefore would create two robust constituencies rather than two weak rural/town constituencies as set out in your proposal. This would also make the job of representing the area, so much easier for the two future MPs.
In your published feedback, you have on many occasions given weight to MPs’ and ex-MPs’ views and it is very concerning that this is the case. These are the very people that have a personal and prejudicial interest in the outcome. Whereas ordinary folk do not have these interests and are submitting their views to make any area better in their view. It therefore beggars belief that the views of over 300 submissions have been totally ignored in your response, when you quote that you want people to be part of the process.
We think that the commission should visit our area, see the issues, talk to residents, understand the community ties and the robust constituencies that could be built. Rather than make the final decision from offices miles away making flawed decisions and two very weak rural/town constituencies that will have very little going for them.