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Council Hears Renewed Plea Not To Split Methlick

>> 30 April 2019

Boundary Commission Plan Sees Village Placed In Two Constituencies

Local SNP councillor Alastair Forsyth has criticised proposals from the Boundary Commission for Scotland which would see Methlick split in half and placed in two different constituencies for Westminster elections.

The Boundary Commission have drawn-up proposals for Westminster constituencies as a result of the London Government’s intention to reduce the number of Scottish MPs from 59 to 53. For the North-east, this means an expanded Banff & Buchan constituency taking in Ellon and Newburgh, and a new Gordon & Deeside constituency covering much of Garioch and West Aberdeenshire.

Under the new proposals, the boundary between the two new constituencies would see Methlick being divided along the River Ythan, resulting in houses along the B9005 and B9170 roads to New Deer and Fyvie remaining in Banff & Buchan, while the bulk of the village transfers into Gordon & Deeside.

At a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on Thursday, councillors were asked to agree new polling districts in anticipation of the Boundary Commission’s proposals being implemented by the London Government at some point before the next UK election. Methlick SNP councillor Alastair Forsyth, who made a submission against the plans when they were first mooted back in 2017, spoke out against the new boundaries at the meeting.

Commenting, Cllr Alastair Forsyth said:

“The proposals for Methlick simply demonstrate the absurdity of the Boundary Commission's plans.

“I feel that the voters have been subjected to enough confusion over boundaries and for the time-being these should be left until significant changes in population make the case for the sheer expense of boundary changes.

“I understand, of course, the desire to save public money by having less MPs at Westminster. If Scotland’s MPs must be reduced in number, then let’s reduce that number to zero and transfer the powers to the Scottish Parliament, thereby eliminating an unnecessary layer of government.

“I stand by my submission to the Boundary Commission that Methlick should remain intact as a whole community. These plans make no sense at all.”

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