The boundaries commission changes mean the number of MPs that Wales will send to the UK Parliament in London is reduced from 40 to 32.
Wales currently has some of the smallest constituencies in the UK, and the changes bring it in line with new UK Government recommendations that seats should have between 69,724 and 77,062 voters.
The published proposals have been revised from earlier plans published in October 2022.
21 constituencies remain unchanged from the Revised Proposals, including Llanelli, Ceredigion Preseli, Mid and South Pembrokeshire, and Caerfyrddin.
However, changes have been made to the other 11 constituencies following representations received throughout the review process which affects Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Maesteg, Bridgend and Porthcawl.
Bridgend, Rhondda and Aberafan
The Commission said it had received opposition to including the Town of Pencoed in the Rhondda constituency at the revised proposals stage. The Commission has as part of its final recommendations included the Town of Pencoed within the recommended Bridgend constituency.
The Commission said it has also eceived opposition to including the Town of Porthcawl in the Aberafan Porthcawl constituency at the revised proposals stage. The Commission has as part of its final recommendations included the Town of Porthcawl within the recommended Bridgend constituency.
In it’s report, the commission said: “Both the Town of Pencoed and Porthcawl share strong links with the Town of Bridgend and are in the Local Authority area of Bridgend. However, in order to maintain constituencies that fall within the UKEQ the Commission has had to make significant changes to the constituencies in the area.
“The Commission has combined the Rhondda and Ogmore Valleys in a constituency building on the shared valleys identities and it has combined Aberafan with Maesteg in order to achieve the UKEQ. There are however good road connections between the two areas.
“The Commission has also had to include the electoral ward of Pelenna which currently forms part of the Neath constituency in order to achieve the UKEQ.”
Neath and Swansea
The Commission said it had received opposition to including the Town of Skewen in the proposed Aberafan Porthcawl constituency and the representations stated that Skewen should be included in a Neath constituency. In order to include Skewen in the recommended Neath and Swansea East constituency the Commission said it has had to make some significant changes to the arrangements in the Neath and Swansea area.
As part of its final recommendations the Commission has proposed 3 constituencies in the Neath and Swansea area; Neath and Swansea East, Swansea West, and Gower. The Commission has included the electoral ward of Landore in the Swansea West constituency and Skewen in its Neath and Swansea East constituency.
The recommended Gower constituency includes all bar one of the electoral wards that form the existing Gower constituency along with 5 wards from the existing Swansea West constituency, the whole of this constituency is within the Swansea Local Authority area. The recommended Swansea West constituency is formed by the remainder of the existing Swansea West constituency and parts of the existing Swansea East constituency again all within the Swansea Local Authority area. The recommended Neath and Swansea East constituency combines the Town of Skewen with the majority of the existing Neath constituency and the remainder of the Swansea East constituency.
The Commission was tasked with considering special geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency; local government boundaries which existed or were prospective on 1 December 2020; boundaries of existing constituencies; any local ties that would be broken by changes in constituencies; and the inconveniences attendant on such changes when developing its recommendations.
The Commission said it was unable to consider future election results or the impact changes would have on any political parties when developing its recommendations.
The largest constituency recommended by the Commission geographically is Dwyfor Meirionnydd at 2,613Km2, with the smallest being Cardiff East (33km2).
In terms of electors, the largest constituency is Mid and South Pembrokeshire (76,820 electors) and the smallest is Ynys Môn (52,415 electors).
No electoral wards or Communities have been split by the Commission in its Final Recommendation.
Commenting on the laying of the Final Recommendations report, Shereen Williams MBE OStJ DL, Secretary to the Boundary Commission for Wales said: “The Commission is delighted that its Final Recommendations report has been laid by the Speaker.
“It is our firm belief that these recommendations represent the best way to create 32 constituencies in Wales which meet the requirements of the Act, including taking account of geography and local ties.
“Though managing a significant reduction in the number of constituencies is never an easy task for a Boundary Commission, it has been made significantly easier thanks to the number and quality of representations we have received from the public, from Members of Parliament, from Political Parties, and from Principal Councils across Wales.
“The Commission would like to put on record its thanks to everyone who took part in the Review and strengthened the recommendations.”
The Commission’s Final Recommendations will now take effect automatically, without the need for parliamentary or government approval, from the next scheduled General Election.
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