Foyle to lose Eglinton and Claudy and gain Bready and Magheramason in boundary shake-up

Eglinton and Claudy are to be moved entirely from the Foyle parliamentary constituency to East Derry in a proposed shake-up of electoral boundaries, the Boundary Commission confirmed this afternoon.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 12:30 pm
The proposed new Foyle constituency.

The commission's 'Initial Proposals for new UK Parliamentary constituency boundaries in Northern Ireland' report also recommends that all of the Slieve Kirk ward, including Magheramason and Bready, should move from West Tyrone into Foyle.

An 8-week public consultation is now open for members of the public, political parties and wider civic society to share their views on the proposals.

Deputy Chairman Mr. Justice Michael Humphreys said: “I am pleased to announce the publication of the Commission’s Initial Proposals, and the beginning of the first period of public consultation of the 2023 Review.

The proposed new East Derry constituency.

"The Commission is keen to encourage everyone with an interest to share their views by engaging with the consultation process, whether it is to support the proposals, or to suggest alternatives which also take into account the requirements of the legislation.”

"Written representations must be received by the Commission by December 15, 2021 and can be submitted using the online portal, by email, or by post. These representations will be published online after the end of the initial consultation period. This will be followed in due course by further consultations, including public hearings, before final recommendations are made by July 1,2023."

The report proposes reducing the electorate of Foyle from 74,431 to 72,474.

"In order to satisfy the statutory electorate range in each constituency, and having considered a balancing of factors (in particular being mindful of undue disruption to existing constituency boundaries), the ward of Claudy which is currently split between Foyle and East Londonderry has been aligned within under-range East Londonderry.

"In order to help satisfy the statutory electorate range in East Londonderry, and taking into account constituency shape, and special geographical considerations such as the location of mountain ranges, the whole ward of Eglinton has been transferred from Foyle to East Londonderry constituency. The ward of Slievekirk which is currently split between Foyle and West Tyrone is aligned within Foyle," the report states.

Under the plans the East Derry electorate will increase in size from 69,359 to 72,213.

In relation to East Derry the commissioners note: "Having considered a balancing of factors, in particular being mindful of undue disruption to existing constituency boundaries, the split ward of Claudy has been aligned within East Londonderry, in which it was already partially located.

"In order to help satisfy the statutory electorate range in East Londonderry, and being mindful of constituency shape, and special geographical considerations such as the location of mountain ranges, the whole ward of Eglinton has been transferred from Foyle (which is within-range) to East Londonderry constituency."

The electorate size in West Tyrone will increase from 66,339 to 70,641.

The report states: "In order to satisfy the statutory electorate range in each constituency, and considering special geographical considerations (such as mountains, access within the constituency and the shape of constituencies), the whole wards of Donaghmore and Pomeroy are transferred from Mid Ulster to West Tyrone constituency, and the ward of Slievekirk which is currently split between Foyle and West Tyrone has been aligned within Foyle."

No name changes are proposed for the local constituencies but there are changes elsewhere.

If the proposals are agreed a new constituency of Strangford and Quoile will be created by joining several wards from South Down with the existing constituency of Strangford.

A new Belfast South and Mid Down constituency will be created by joining wards from Lagan Valley and Strangford with the current Belfast South constituency.

In developing its proposals, the Commission must ensure that all constituencies in Northern Ireland are in line with the requirements of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (as amended). Having considered the statutory rules, the Commission has set out a report detailing its Initial Proposals for Northern Ireland’s constituencies and now welcomes public input as part of the statutory consultation process.

More information about the 2023 Review process can be found in the Guide to the 2023 Review which is available on the Commission’s website at www.boundarycommission.org.uk.