Will new constituencies link towns and villages in Suffolk and Norfolk?

Mere street in Diss.

Could Diss become part of a Suffolk/Norfolk constituency? - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A new cross-border constituency including parts of north Suffolk and south Norfolk could be created in the next review by the government's Boundary Commission, local politicians believe.

The Boundary Commission for England has unveiled the timescale for its next round of changes which are due to come into force in 2023 - possibly in time for a 2024 General Election.

It has said the number of constituencies in the six counties of the East of England should increase from 58 to 61 - but has not yet produced any maps showing where the new constituencies should be.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he expected there would be some changes in Suffolk - but did not think his constituency would be radically altered.

He said: "The population of the Bury St Edmunds constituency is much larger than others - I expect that would be changed. And actually the population of South Suffolk has fallen a bit over recent years.

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"I would expect there to be some changes to the rural constituencies in the north of the county - Bury, West Suffolk and Central Suffolk. A new constituency could be formed with part of them and places like Diss and some of the villages around it in south Norfolk.

"I would expect that to have about 40,000 people from Suffolk and 25,000 from Norfolk."

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The Boundary Commission is looking at creating constituencies with between 70,000 and 77,000 voters each. The number of UK constituencies would remain at 650, but there would be 10 more constituencies in England - up to 543.

There would be an increase in the number of constituencies in the East of England, South East, London and South West. The number of constituencies in the North East, North West and West Midlands would be reduced.

Until now constituency boundaries have tended not to cross county boundaries - although an aborted earlier review did propose that Newmarket should be moved into a Cambridgeshire constituency alongside Ely.

But the need to even up the population of constituencies this time could see several stradling borders.

Details of potential constituencies are expected to published in the early summer, and the public will be invited to comment on them. The proposals could be revised after those discussions and republished next year with the new constituencies being introduced in 2023.

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