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‘It’s a dog’s breakfast’: Cross-party Angus Council group to chew over Westminster boundary change plans

The current and proposed boundary changes for Scotland's Westminster constituencies.

Angus Council is setting up a cross-party group to consider boundary change plans to take Arbroath out and bring Scone and Blairgowrie into new Westminster constituencies for the area.

The controversial shake-up is part of a 2023 review of UK Parliament constituencies which would see Scotland’s tally of MPs drop by two to 57.

And Angus has emerged as one of the areas which would experience the greatest boundary shift.

It would mean an Angus and Strathmore seat stretching from Montrose to Scone and the Spittal of Glenshee.

boundary changes
Courier Country boundary changes<br />Supplied UK Gov.

Arbroath, as far north as Lunan, will be part of the Dundee East and Arbroath constituency.

boundary changes
Courier Country boundary changes<br />Supplied UK Gov.

On Tuesday, Angus policy committee councillors had their first chance to air their views on the review since it was revealed earlier this month.

SNP councillor: ‘It’s a complete mess’

Montrose SNP councillor Bill Duff said: “I’d have to say it’s a complete and utter dog’s breakfast.

“It seems completely ridiculous tacking on Scone and Blair.

“And splitting up quite a number of council wards is not good practice. It is a complete mess.

“On a political basis, the SNP group thinks it’s dreadful.

Bill Duff
Montrose councillor Bill Duff.

“I don’t know what we can do about it and we’ll have to make the best of what we’ve been presented with.”

He added: “It’s completely unacceptable.

“It shows complete disrespect for the people of Angus and for Angus’s integrity as a political unit.”

Mr Duff said it was “almost impossible to explain to the man or woman in the street” the Westminster, Holyrood and council ward boundaries.

“Unless you are a complete political anorak like me, it’s completely unintelligible.

“And it’s very difficult for MPs and MSPs who are dealing with multiple different councils.

“It’s crazy,” he said.

Mr Duff was the only policy and resources committee member to comment on the plans.

Holyrood and council area boundaries remain

Officers said the larger Angus and Strathmore constituency will see Angus administering part of the Perth and Kinross Council area.

And the new Dundee East and Arbroath is to be administered by Dundee City.

But the review does not affect Scottish Parliament boundaries, council area or ward boundaries.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland must submit its recommendations to Westminster before July 1 2023.

The proposals, which looked to resolve parity issues in the number of voters in constituencies, will have to be approved by Parliament.

But the commission hopes any changes would be in place by 2024 – when the next general election is expected.

Angus Council has until December 8 to deliver its response to the initial review.

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