Boundary changes mean communities ‘severed’ says Tonbridge council chief

ALL CHANGE: The proposed boundary for new 'Tonbridge' constituency

Boundary changes mean communities ‘severed’ says Tonbridge council chief

by Andy Tong | 27th September 2018

THE Leader of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council [TMBC] has reacted with dismay to the proposed boundary changes to the Parliamentary constituency because of the way they break up long-established communities.

The plan, which will reduce the number of MPs, is awaiting clearance for a vote in the House of Commons. As it stands, Kings Hill – where the council’s offices are located – and both East and West Malling would now be located in the new ‘Chatham & Malling’ area.

‘Tonbridge’ constituency, as it would be known, takes over large swathes of what was formerly in Tunbridge Wells, including Southborough, Pembury, Speldhurst and Langton Green.

Nicolas Heslop, the council Leader, told the Times: “When council members considered the initial proposals of the Boundary Commission, we expressed concern that they did not reflect the best interests of residents as longstanding associations between communities were severed.

“There was a strong feeling that communities that were affiliated with each other should continue to be linked and in the same Parliamentary constituency.”

He added: “We said the needs and expectations of residents in neighbouring communities differed greatly from those in Tonbridge & Malling, due in part to different economic needs of communities and local demographics.”

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