PARLIAMENTARY constituency boundaries for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be largely unchanged if initial proposals are taken forward.

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published its initial proposals for new constituency boundaries.

Residents can view and provide feedback on the proposed constituencies as part of an eight-week consultation process.

The BCE is required to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal; in doing so, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.

The commission stressed that the proposals were provisional. It is not due to make its final recommendations to Parliament until July 2023.

Under the proposals, just under 10 per cent of the existing 533 English constituencies remain unchanged. However, Dorset would maintain its eight constituencies with just a handful of minor tweaks suggested.

A BCE document summing up the initial proposals says: "Six of the existing constituencies currently have electorates within the permitted range, with the existing Mid Dorset and North Poole constituency having an electorate below the permitted range, and the West Dorset constituency having an electorate above the range. As previously outlined, we identified that the eight constituencies could continue to be wholly contained within the ceremonial county of Dorset.

"The existing Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West, Poole, and Christchurch constituencies are all within the permitted electorate range, but due to changes to local government ward boundaries, retaining these constituencies wholly unchanged would divide a number of wards between constituencies.

"Therefore, the only changes we propose to these constituencies is to realign constituency boundaries with new ward boundaries."

The rural areas of the county will face some slightly more notable alterations, based on the proposals.

"Due to the new ward boundaries, the Dorset (Council) ward of West Purbeck in the Mid Dorset and Poole North constituency has expanded to the coast, meaning that its inclusion in the Mid Dorset and Poole North constituency would bisect the existing South Dorset constituency," the BCE said.

"Instead, we propose that the West Purbeck ward should be included in the South Dorset constituency. Consequently, we propose that the existing Mid Dorset and Poole North constituency be extended northwards to include the Dorset ward of Stour & Allen Vale, which was previously in the North Dorset constituency.

"The North Dorset constituency requires further changes to realign constituency boundaries with local government ward boundaries. We propose including the whole of the Dorset wards of Chalk Valleys, and Puddletown & Lower Winterborne in the North Dorset constituency.

"The existing West Dorset constituency, with an electorate of 81,091, is above the permitted electorate range.

"In our proposed configuration, it would not be possible to include both the Winterborne & Broadmayne, and Chickerell wards in the West Dorset constituency.

"We therefore propose that the Chickerell ward from the existing West Dorset constituency be exchanged for the Upwey & Broadwey ward from the existing South Dorset constituency."

Tim Bowden, BCE secretary, said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like. But they are just the Commission’s initial thoughts.

"Help us draw the line to make the number of electors in each Parliamentary constituency more equal.

"Each constituency we recommend is required by law to contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors, meaning there will be significant change to current boundaries. We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies right.

"We consider all feedback received during the consultation process, and it is your local knowledge that helps us to shape constituencies that best reflect your local area.

"It is easy to get involved - view our proposals and have your say on our online consultation portal -”