Tweeddale changes proposed

COUNCILLORS today will consider their response to plans to change UK parliamentary constituencies in Tweeddale.

The sixth Boundary Commission for Scotland recommends adding Peebles, West Linton and the rest of Tweeddale valley to Midlothian .

The zone is currently in Conservative David Mundell MP’s Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency. But the commission suggests the valley – the Tweeddale West and East wards in Scottish Borders Council – should join Midlothian and be known as the Midlothian and Tweeddale constituency.

It would mean Innerleithen, Walkerburn, and stretching as far as Clovenfords and Caddonfoot, were in the same constituency as Penicuik, Dalkeith and Bonnyrigg.

SBC’s elections team leader Louise McGeoch notes in her report to councillors today: “The Tweeddale area is already linked with part of Midlothian for Scottish Parliament elections and, from a purely administrative point of view, SBC already has a good working relationship with Midlothian Council in terms of election arrangements.”

The commission has been tasked with reducing Scottish constituencies from 59 to 52 with areas of up to 13,000 sq km.

It proposes leaving the Berwickshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirk seat as it is.

After another consultation, the commission will consider all the evidence and prepare revised proposals which are expected to be made public for a final eight-week consultation period in 2012.

The commission’s final recommendations will then be submitted to the Secretary of State.