Boundary review plans to carve Manhood Peninsula in two ‘makes no sense’

‘Carving’ the Manhood Peninsula in two so it is represented by different MPs ‘makes no sense’, campaigners have argued.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:48 pm
Aerial view of Selsey bill
Aerial view of Selsey bill

The Boundary Commission for England released redrawn Parliamentary boundaries for public consultation earlier this month.

The initial proposals would see Selsey and parishes such as Sidlesham, Hunston, North and South Mundham, Runcton, Oving and Tangmere move to a new Bognor Regis constituency.

The rest of the Manhood Peninsula including West Wittering, East Wittering, Bracklesham, Birdham and Earnley, would remain in the Chichester Parliamentary seat.

Joan Foster, chair of the Manhood Peninsula Action Group, said: “The review recommends splitting the Manhood Peninsula in two - if this recommendation goes through it will mean the west half of the peninsula is in Chichester constituency - the east half in Bognor Regis. This makes no sense at all.”

The group points out that the peninsula is a unique geographical area of villages that are all connected and have no links with Bognor Regis and are separated from the town by Pagham Harbour and no east-west roads.

Instead the focus is Chichester with children going to school and college there and residents using the city’s library, leisure centre, railway station, bus stops and shops.

It is urging parish councils and residents to make their views known to the commission as soon as possible and before the August 2 deadline at www.bcereviews.org.uk

The group added: “This is a numbers game but we have to protect the identity of the Manhood Peninsula, a unique area for over 1,000 years. We cannot let it be carved in two.”

In a document sent to all the peninsula’s parish councils, MPAG wrote: “A constituency represents its population. The Manhood Peninsula has a unique identity as a whole, not a half. Working to ensure the Manhood’s voice is heard in Chichester has been a challenge in itself.

“Having it split in two will mean even less recognition of our specific concerns and less ability for us to truly work together to conserve our unique peninsula.”