Banchory set to retain Deeside ‘tag’

A campaign was mounted to keep Banchory in Deeside under the boundary changes proposed for Westminster
A campaign was mounted to keep Banchory in Deeside under the boundary changes proposed for Westminster

Campaigners have welcomed revised proposals which would see Banchory remain in Deeside under the Boundary Commission for Scotland’s changes.

Concern was raised that the town would not be part of the new Gordon and Deeside Westminster constituency and would find itself in Kincardine and Angus North.

But under the Commission’s latest proposals, which were published earlier this week, and following a series of public consultations, Banchory would stay in the new Deeside seat.

The move has been welcomed by former Banchory councillor and ex-Aberdeenshire provost Jill Webster.

She said: “There was a strength of feeling that we didn’t want to be separated from the decision-making process from the rest of Deeside because we have similar issues that have to be looked at and have to be taken into consideration by our elected politicians.

“This, I believe, is another series of consultations so the implications on the boundaries elsewhere of course will have to be looked at, and it will be interesting to see what responses people make to this round of consultation.”

The original plans for the new Scottish constituencies were published last October.

An initial consultation attracted 2000 responses and amended proposals have now been published and released for further consideration.

Only three constituencies would be unaffected by the review - Orkney and Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an lar, which are protected under law, and East Lothian.

The number of Scottish MPs would be cut from 59 to 53 as part of a move to reduce the total number of Westminster seats from 650 to 600 ahead of the 2020 general election.

SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have united to demand that the plans to redraw the political map of Scotland are dropped.