HL Deb 26 January 1993 vol 541 cc1225-6

9.11 p.m.

Viscount Astor rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 25th November be approved [13th Report from the Joint Committee].

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, the draft order before you today gives effect to recommendations of the Boundary Commission for Wales, resulting from its review of six constituencies there. The commission announced its intention to undertake this review on 19th February 1990. Its purpose was to realign parliamentary constituency boundaries with local government boundaries that had been altered since the constituency boundaries had been drawn.

Provisional recommendations for the new boundaries were published on 14th June 1990. The number of electors affected was very small, and not a single representation was received that made objection to the proposed new boundary lines. However, the proposals to which objections were made were those for the names of some of the constituencies, as a result of which the first of two local inquiries was held in December 1990.

The Assistant Commissioner made recommendations to the Boundary Commission, which it accepted. Revised recommendations were published to that effect in April 1991. Some further objections were received about the names of constituencies and, as a result, a further local inquiry was held in June 1991.

The sole issue raised at that inquiry concerned the proposal to rename the Brecon and Radnor constituency as Brecon and Radnorshire. After consideration of the various representations and suggestions, the Assistant Commissioner's solution was to recommend to the commission that the name should be Brecknock and Radnorshire constituency. That was accepted by the commission and formed part of the recommendations in its report.

The order before your Lordships' House today implements the recommendations of the commission in full. There can be no doubt that the new boundary lines are unobjectionable. The constituency names represent the best compromise after all interested parties have had opportunity to have their say. The changes to boundaries and constituency names would come into effect at the next general election.

I commend those changes to your Lordships. I beg to move.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 25th November be approved. [13th Report from the Joint Committee].—(Viscount Astor.)

Lord Prys-Davies

My Lords, the Minister has explained very clearly the purpose of this brief and modest order that is based on the report of the Boundary Commission for Wales. I am very glad that the report has been published bilingually. This is a tidying up order aligning the boundaries of six parliamentary constituencies in Mid and South West Wales with local government boundaries. As the Minister has explained, the changes are minor and it seems that very few people will be affected. In addition, the order changes the names of three of the constituencies. The most significant change of name is that of Ceredigion and Pembroke North constituency: it now becomes Ceredigion Gogledd Penfro. Its name will henceforth in its entirety be in the Welsh language, reflecting the Welsh-speaking character of the constituency. That meets with our approval. The order is modest but it should be helpful.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

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