Today I appeared before the Boundary Commission’s public hearing into changes to the constituency of Broxtowe. The proposal that the Commission have put forward has focussed on the north of the constituency, a trim here and a trim there to bring it to a more equitable size.

However, our MP has seen an opportunity to try and shore up his prospects for reelection by instead putting forward a proposal that cleaves off three-quarters of Beeston into a city constituency, preserving the North. Why? Well, it might help to look at how the two area votes: the areas to be moved in the north are Tory-leaning, while Beeston is consistently anti-Tory. I have written about this for Central Bylines, here.

PLEASE HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE PROPOSALS. SIMPLY CLICK HERE, hover over Broxtowe and add a comment.

Here’s what I told the hearing:

Hello, my name is Matt Turpin. I’m a longstanding resident of Broxtowe, having spent my childhood in Stapleford and much of my adulthood in Beeston .

As well as a resident, I’m here as someone who has made the Beeston area the subject of much of my work over the last decade, having set up a local community magazine, The Beestonian, in 2011 which still thrives to this day.

I am also part of the volunteer team that oversee the local community Facebook group Beeston Updated, which 28,000 Beestonians are members of. With the usual disclaimers about social media and representation, I do think it is at the very least strongly indicative of how Beeston feels. 

 I want to express my support for the proposals put forward, while also cautioning against other representations that I believe to have not been made in good faith.

A strongly backed proposal – from our own MP, no less – is to answer the question of fair constituency distribution by not focussing on the north of the constituency (which is the current default proposal), but to instead cleave the town of Beeston in two, pushing one half into a Nottingham constituency while retaining the other half – actually more like a quarter – in Broxtowe.

This is, to anyone with the merest grasp of local geography, absurd, arbitrary and confusing. The reasoning behind this suggestion is specious at best, arguing along the lines that part of Beeston is already in Nottingham, namely areas east of Woodside Road. 

A look at a map shows this is not a sizeable chunk of Beeston, rather a few residential streets that abut the University campus, separated from the rest of Beeston by Woodside Road.  The proposal put forward by the MP would instead drag that line into the middle of Beeston, with next-door neighbours having different MPs across a wide swathe of Beeston. 

While aware that there has to be a dividing line somewhere, this is not the place. 

The proposal also states that this idea has previously attracted popular local support.  In the years I’ve been involved in the community of Beeston, i’ve never heard anyone suggest this as anything but an awful idea. This is reflected in a poll we conducted on the aforementioned Beeston Updated site, where the members were asked about the proposal and asked to vote if they were for or against. Well over 98% were opposed. Many commented that they were highly confused with this proposal, and were worried about the potential confusion. This would be damaging to local democracy.

Again, I offer the usual caveats that come with polling on social media, but again think this is at least indicative. I am willing to make the details of the poll – its wording as well as its findings – available as evidence should they prove to be helpful.

Other reasons given, such as existing transport links with the city, are baffling considering the reach of City transport provision outside the given borders of the city itself. As transport is largely a devolved issue anyhow, it seems of little relevance. 

While the prospect of the WHOLE of Beeston one day becoming part of a different constituency is not entirely rejected: I do see many positives from such an arrangement in the future, on both a constituency and local authority basis – this isn’t that whatsoever, and instead something that will effectively drop an arbitrary line down the middle of a strong community.

So why is this ridiculous proposal being offered to the committee?

The Boundary Commission is an independent organisation that must oppose political interference and ensure decisions are made for the greater good of the democratic health of this country, and each and every constituency that it oversees.

Therefore I do hope they draw the same conclusions that I, and many others, draw in that the proposal put forward by the Member of Parliament for Broxtowe is not just unworkable, bad for existing communities, and arbitrary. but merely a cynical attempt to divide a town for political gain.  

  The area he has suggested is calved off consistently votes against the political party he represents – , and as such this seems a rather cynical party political attempt at maintaining power, and therefore has no merit for further consideration.  

Thank you.

PLEASE HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE PROPOSALS. SIMPLY CLICK HERE, hover over Broxtowe and add a comment.

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2 thoughts on “BEESTON TO BE SPLIT IN TWO?

  1. Robert Howard says:

    I have on previous occasions supported the case for all Beeston Borough district wards going in with south west Nottingham, but not this time. Here is my Boundary Commission submission:

    I have no problem with the proposed redrawn boundary for the Broxtowe Parliamentary constituency, nor would I have a problem with ALL FOUR Broxtowe Borough Council Beeston electoral words being joined with part of south west Nottingham, but this is not the alternative proposal being suggested – hence my objecting to it.

    Despite what some witnesses may say, there is a body of a opinion living in Beeston, of which I am one, who believe Beeston has a greater affinity with the City of Nottingham than it does with the northern half of the present Borough of Broxtowe. Geographically, the only direct physical link between the north and south of Broxtowe Borough is one unclassified road between Trowell and Cossall Marsh, nor are there any direct public transport links. All bus, tram and rail links run across the Borough to and from the City of Nottingham. In other words the proposed Broxtowe Parliamentary constituency is, like Broxtowe Borough, geographically, historically, socially and economically a nonsense.

    The one strength of Broxtowe as a Parliamentary constituency is that it exists and, if in the electoral numbers game the Boundary Commission have to play, the boundary has to be redrawn, then the proposal it makes is as good as any.

    Finally, the historical boundary between the parishes of Beeston and Lenton is Tottle Brook – not Woodside Road. In 1932 Beeston agreed to the boundary being redrawn so all the City’s then new Lenton Abbey council estate could be within the City boundary. Beeston could so easily have become part of the City of Nottingham a long time ago.

  2. Judith Dare says:

    Not sure if this is will be received by Lord Beestonia, but please send Beestonia postings to The older email address ( isn’t reliable anymore.  I’d moved back to Wales a while ago, but have fond memories from living in Beeston.for a few years. Judith

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