§ 7 p.m.
§ The Earl of Dundee rose to move. That the draft order laid before the House on 13th July be approved [33rd Report from the Joint Committee].
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, I beg to move. This draft order is to implement the final recommendations contained in the Boundary Commission for Scotland report on its 1988 interim review of 22 parliamentary constituencies. The commission submitted its report to my right honourable friend the Secretary of State on 24th June and he proposes that its recommendations should be implemented without modification. The draft order was approved in another place yesterday and if it is approved by your Lordships today it will be submitted to Her Majesty in Council to be made.
§ Articles 2 to 9 of the draft order substitute the 22 constituencies set out in the schedule for those constituencies as they exist at present. Article 1(3) provides for the order to come into effect forthwith and for the new boundaries to take effect at the next general election. Any by-election before that will therefore be unaffected altogether. Interim reviews of parliamentary constituencies are held at the discretion of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission between its general reviews, which have to be completed every 10 to 15 years. The 1988 review was the second such review made necessary by the alterations to the boundaries of local government areas, which originally coincided with those of the constituencies created by the Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) Order 1983.
§ The first such review, which involved 14 constituencies, was completed in 1986 and the new boundaries took effect at the last general election. Since then a number of changes have been made to regional and district boundaries which divorced them 1763 from the boundaries of the present constituencies. Most of the changes were quite small but the commission decided to review the boundaries of the 22 constituencies affected in order to remove the anomalies which had arisen. In each case the proposal is to make the minimum change necessary to realign the constituency boundary with the new local government boundary. The steps which the commission took to bring its proposals to the notice of the public, the local authorities, political parties and Members of Parliament concerned are set out in the report.
§ The total number of electors affected by the changes implemented is fewer than 180. Of those, 100 are situated in one area, Yoker, parts of which were transferred between the Clydebank district and the City of Glasgow district in June. In five areas no electors are involved. No substantive objections were received by the commission during the review and none has been received by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State since the report was submitted to him. Therefore, I invite your Lordships to approve this draft order implementing the commission's recommendations in full.
§ Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 13th July be approved [33rd Report from the Joint Committee].—(The Earl of Dundee.)
§ Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove
My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister for his explanation of the draft order. I have looked at it and I notice that the largest change in electorate is 100, which is in the Clydebank Milngavie county constituency and Glasgow Garscadden borough constituency. I have received no representations on this matter, although, as the Minister will know, I am familiar with most of the people in another place and in the local authority area who are likely to be affected.
I believe that we should pay some attention to the fact that the eagle eye of the Glasgow planning department was able to point out the discrepancy in the map in the Garscadden area, because these draft orders have to be correct. Grave problems can arise if there is even a minor error such as whether or not there are electors living in an area. That can cause a great deal of difficulty.
Perhaps because of my inability to look at the map properly—which I find surprising because I am not totally unfamiliar with these maps—I cannot find the reference on page 7 of the draft order as regards the illustration of the Milngavie area on map 1, where it refers to the area marked "jai", which is the Scottish pronounciation. I cannot find that reference. I suggest that the noble Earl should have a word with his colleagues in order to clear up where that is. It may be that I am making a mistake. However, I know from past experience that these matters must be very accurate. With that, I am happy to accept this draft order and I know that if there is any point that should be corrected, that will be done before the final steps are taken.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ [The sitting was suspended from 7.7 until 7.45 p.m.]