Boundary Changes: 'Houghton Regis with Luton North' Would Be Better Name

The Proposed new Parliamentary constituency boundaries

MY views on the 2018 Boundary Review

submitted on 10th March 2017. Make your comments here.


I edit several social media pages, aimed principally at Houghton Regis, Dunstable, and to a much lesser extent Luton. The combined following of these Pages is 6,032. I could not imagine a homogeneous title for a social media page that wholly covered your proposed 'Luton North And Houghton' because the areas are so far apart in social activities shared.

Houghton Regis Residents Opposed

Your correspondents living in Houghton Regis all seem to be opposed to this proposal. Many of the comments on the Luton side appear to come from Labour Party activists. The only comment from Lewsey Farm, Luton, is from Hazel Simmons who describes herself as a Member of the Public when in actual fact she is Labour Leader at Luton Borough Council.

Kelvin Hopkins

In the enquiry in November 2016 Kelvin Hopkins MP pointed out that many of his constituents in his current Luton North constituency attend Central Bedfordshire College. Well, that may be possible, but even so, the college is located in central Dunstable, not Houghton Regis.

Mr Hopkins states that [the Luton North and Houghton area] 'is a contiguous urban area'. It is not. The two are separated by the M1 motorway, and a wide swathe of land currently designated as Green Field.

Andrew Selous

Andrew Selous, MP, also spoke at the enquiry, saying he was, " very sorry to see any part of my constituency removed; that very much includes the town of Houghton Regis." I am disappointed that he made no further attempt in his representation at that time to hold on to the town as part of his remit. He is held in high regard for his helpful interventions in small issues, not least because he is able to exert some influence with Central Bedfordshire Council. I'm not so sure that a Luton Borough ward MP would carry the same weight with Central Bedfordshire Council.

Two halves

To have the two halfs of constituents belonging to two different unitary authorities will be confusing to many people.

On this topic, this is why people will be confused:

New Build.

One of your correspondents rightly points to new build and population growth, expected in north of Houghton Regis and north of Sundon Park and I wonder if this has truly been factored in properly?

'Houghton Regis with Luton North'. 

There are two Houghton's in Bedfordshire. You must name the constituencies accordingly. "Regis" was added to my Houghton many centuries ago to distinguish it from Houghton Conquest. It would be quite wrong to chop it down to be known as simply "And Houghton". Houghton Regis is a town in its own right, with its key inhabitants striving to be known about on the map of the UK. Its Parish boundaries to 2030 are projected to double its population size. If the shape of this constituency ends up prevailing, then I would suggest that it be named 'Houghton Regis with Luton North', handing some pride back to local inhabitants, some of whom abhor connection to Luton judging by feedback they have left.