An MP says renaming his Parliamentary constituency to include Burntwood alongside Lichfield in the title would be “misleading”.

A consultation is currently taking place on new proposals to reshape the voting boundaries across the country.

As part of this, the Boundary Commission for England has suggested moving parts of Whittington and Streethay into Tamworth – a move which has previously been criticised by Michael Fabricant MP.

Michael Fabricant. Picture: UK Parliament

The Conservative MP has also said he felt renaming the constituency to include Burntwood in the title would risk alienating other residents.

“I submitted my views on the commission’s proposals a few weeks’ back.

“I did give consideration as to whether the constituency should be renamed ‘Lichfield and Burntwood’, but decided that would be misleading as the constituency runs to north of Abbots Bromley and east out to Barton-under-Needwood.

“I thought residents there might feel alienated, so I decided to stick with the historic name of ‘Lichfield’ for the constituency as it goes back to the Parliaments held in the 13th Century.

“The historic Lichfield constituency is one of the very oldest in the country.”

The proposed changes are designed to ensure all Parliamentary voting areas in the UK are roughly the same size in terms of people being represented.

Mr Fabricant added:

“As far as the boundary is concerned, I would like to see no changes, but the Lichfield constituency is growing too large so change is inevitable.

“But I strongly reject Streethay being torn away from Lichfield and moved into Tamworth and have made that clear to the commissioners –  I would regret losing Whittington too.”

Michael Fabricant MP

The full text of Mr Fabricant’s reply to the commission:

While I deeply regret any change to the Lichfield constituency, I recognise that the constituency electorate is becoming too large and in danger of breaching the permitted upper limit.  I ask for one change to the BCE’s Initial Proposal: that the Polling District of Streethay (AD) be split from the Whittington & Streethay Ward to remain in Lichfield.

I note that the BCE state “In order to avoid dividing Burntwood between constituencies, we propose including the Whittington & Streethay ward in the Tamworth constituency” and I understand the logic of the argument.  However, although Streethay is not in the parish of Lichfield City, both geographically and emotionally, residents perceive themselves as an integral part of Lichfield.  There is no natural boundary between Lichfield and Streethay as the two are linked by the Burton Road (A5127), Burton Old Road and foot bridges. These roads cross the West Coast Rail Line which does not form a barrier.

There is, however, a major physical barrier in the A38 Trunk Road which is a 4 lane dual carriageway with crash barriers down its centre.  This effectively cuts off the Streethay polling district AD from the rest of the ward.  I would urge commissioners to see this for themselves. The A38 provides an understandable boundary between the Lichfield and Tamworth constituencies at that point.

Streethay residents use ‘Lichfield’ as their address. Recent developments in Streethay, which has no separate village centre or shops, all promote themselves as being in Lichfield. Streethay children all go to Lichfield schools and residents shop and go to pubs in Lichfield. In future, Streethay may well be moved into Lichfield City as part of local government boundary changes.  But, whatever the actual ward boundaries, Streethay residents would see their being moved into Tamworth constituency as ‘dividing Lichfield between constituencies’ – the very reason why the BCE do not propose moving Hammerwich with Wall into Tamworth.

According to the latest data I have for the electorate of Streethay (AD), retaining the Polling District in Lichfield would result in Lichfield having an electorate of 75,335 and Tamworth 73,251 – both within the permitted parameters.

Because of these local ties and geographic factors, I ask that the Polling District of Streethay (AD) be split from the Whittington & Streethay Ward to remain in the Lichfield Parliamentary constituency.  It would be seen as a logical and popular change to the initial proposal.

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22 Comments

  1. As the Whittington area includes the military hospital what does the military consider to be the best option?
    What is the opinion of my own MP Christopher Pincher?
    Tamworth already has overcrowded roads and poor facilities in some areas.
    Will this stretch limited resources even further?

  2. Cool your boots Jean, it’s about voting for an MP not giving everyone a free pass for the Snowdome. A little bit of research will tell you that it’s about moving some voters in and some voters out. Voting for your MP has no impact on how many people use your roads, so call off the hounds.

  3. Astonished Fabbo knows where some of these places are. Burntwood sees him once on a photo op.

  4. I live in north Lichfield, Curborough ward. I am relieved to report that I have no reason to believe MF has ever set foot up here.

  5. “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives… I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.
    JS Mill

  6. Thank goodness those of us who actually live here see this as a community where people are neighbours, work colleagues, school mates and friends. My guess is that the only person who would feel ‘alienated’ by the inclusion of Burntwood in the constituency title would be Michael Fabricant himself. As usual, he chooses to talk up divisions between people rather than listening to the people he is supposed to represent and addressing the real issues that leave people feeling alienated, such as hard-working families having to rely on foodbanks just to get by.

  7. Professor Pineapple. You are obviously a Conservative then as I have never heard such a stupid statement.

  8. When I think of stupid comments, this takes some beating. “Within minutes of a vote for Brexit the CEO’s of Mercedes, BMW, VW and Audi will be knocking down Chancellor Merkel’s door demanding that there be no barriers to German access to the British market” – David Davis
    There is a very crowded field of such stupid comments from which to choose.

  9. Is it just me or does this sounds like he’d like to keep hold of all the Lichfield areas in his constituency but he’d be happy to sacrifice the Burntwood areas?

  10. @Pamela Kynaston – ProfessorPineapple is quoting John Stuart Mill, a famous political thinker and the author of On Liberty. Perhaps you have heard of him?

  11. I think this is a great example of how important it is to make sure when you quote other people or copy word for word what they are saying, that you should make it very clear to everyone that is what you are doing. Otherwise they might think these are your own words or sayings. If they agree they might think you are brilliant and wise. If they don’t agree they might think you are being dishonest and cannot be trusted.
    As that truly great actor and director Clint Eastwood once said: “Plagiarism is always the biggest thing in Hollywood.”

  12. Other than morris dancing, I can think of few other organisations where 13th Century practices are considered to be the way we do things now. I would not be happy with Parliament reverting to French being its language. English was first used in 1342.
    Women? Not so many in the Parliament of those days. Anyone who was not a lord, spiritual or temporal? Not so many.
    It cannot be the sign of a healthy society that we constantly hark back to the past.
    Any chance of a parliament fit for purpose?

  13. I was taught that if quotation marks are used and a name added to the end of that, then I will be reading a quote.

  14. Lichfield should be condensed into 1 square mile with the out lying areas taken in by their adjoining councils thereby keeping the oiks out of my beautiful city.

  15. Erm…Sophia, Professor Pineapple’s original post says ‘JS Mill’ at the bottom, indicating that this is a quote. This is perfectly clear.

  16. Lichvegas – yes I know. I was explaining that to Pamela. Thank you.

    My friend says it only takes a minute to help someone but confusion can last a lifetime.

  17. The trivial matter of what should be the name of a constituency is not up to the usual standard of distraction.
    Talking about this lamentable government’s awful decisions is much harder.

  18. Why can’t everyone in Burntwood vote for someone else and help us get rid of this out of date idiot ?

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