Boundary Scotland must rethink proposed changes to Holyrood constituencies after public opposition to its plans – Angus Robertson

Gorgie, Dalry and Fountainbridge belong in Edinburgh Central
These are the constituencies proposed by Boundaries Scotland: 12) Bathgate and Almond Valley; 32) Edinburgh Forth and Linlithgow; 57) Livingston; 34) Edinburgh Pentlands;  36) Edinburgh Western; 33) Edinburgh Northern and Leith; 30) Edinburgh Central; 35) Edinburgh Southern; 31) Edinburgh Eastern; 60) Midlothian South; 59) Midlothian North and Musselburgh; 29) East Lothian.These are the constituencies proposed by Boundaries Scotland: 12) Bathgate and Almond Valley; 32) Edinburgh Forth and Linlithgow; 57) Livingston; 34) Edinburgh Pentlands;  36) Edinburgh Western; 33) Edinburgh Northern and Leith; 30) Edinburgh Central; 35) Edinburgh Southern; 31) Edinburgh Eastern; 60) Midlothian South; 59) Midlothian North and Musselburgh; 29) East Lothian.
These are the constituencies proposed by Boundaries Scotland: 12) Bathgate and Almond Valley; 32) Edinburgh Forth and Linlithgow; 57) Livingston; 34) Edinburgh Pentlands; 36) Edinburgh Western; 33) Edinburgh Northern and Leith; 30) Edinburgh Central; 35) Edinburgh Southern; 31) Edinburgh Eastern; 60) Midlothian South; 59) Midlothian North and Musselburgh; 29) East Lothian.

The results are in and they are overwhelming. Gorgie, Dalry and Fountainbridge belong to central Edinburgh and the communities should not be transferred into Southern Edinburgh. These are the findings of a parliamentary survey completed as feedback for Boundary Scotland, which has proposed controversial changes for Holyrood constituency boundaries.

This process needs to happen periodically to take account of population changes. The neutral body assigned the task, Boundary Scotland, has to come up with new boundaries for constituencies and regions “of similar electorate size while also taking account of local authority areas, special geographical circumstances, maintenance of local ties and any inconveniences caused by the alteration of the existing boundaries”.

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In the case of Edinburgh Central and Edinburgh Southern, their proposals make the constituencies run adjacently from north to south and swap bits from one to another. It would mean that communities in central Edinburgh, including Gorgie, Dalry and Fountainbridge would become part of Edinburgh Southern constituency, and communities in southern Edinburgh including the Grange, Mayfield and Blackford would become part of Edinburgh Central.

That has not gone down well locally. In a snap online public survey for my parliamentary office, 305 respondents (94 per cent) said that they closely associated Gorgie, Dalry and Fountainbridge with central Edinburgh and only 18 (5.5 per cent) with southern Edinburgh. Asked whether respondents supported the proposals to move Gorgie, Dalry and Fountainbridge only 28 (8 per cent) said “yes” while an overwhelming 298 (92 per cent) said “no”.

With strong community opposition to the changes, hopefully Boundary Scotland will listen to the feedback and restore Gorgie, Dalry and Fountainbridge to Edinburgh Central.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary