New Forest East

Introduction

The New Forest East constituency came into being in 1997 when the Local Government Boundary Commission (LGBC) decided that the New Forest as a single constituency contained too many voters for the First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system.  Since that date, the Seat has been held by a Conservative MP from Swansea.  The next tier down, Hampshire County Council remained unchanged as did the tier down from that, New Forest District Council.  The LGBC undertake boundary reviews every 10 years or so to maintain that FPTP electoral balance and on 6 June 2016, a public consultation on revised boundaries at County level terminates.  Society never remains static and so it is that also on 6 June 2016, the Hampshire County Council Cabinet will decide the consultation procedure for the proposed Hampshire-wide unitary authority that if adopted by the public, will obviate the need to revise County boundaries ever again.  The first UK unitary authority was established in 1969, but since the conversion to this form of administration is generally decided by County Chiefs and not the electorate, transformation has been slow.

Demography

Hampshire contains two of the country’s 15 national parks, one of those being the New Forest.  Although national parks are protected for the public to enjoy, they come under separate administration from local government.  The intention is to balance the needs of local residents with that of visitors.  However, since the national park authorities are invariably made up of local politicians who understandably are beholding to their electorate, that balance is questionable.

Although the constituency of New Forest East stretches from Lyndhurst to Southampton Water, around 80% of the population live just outside of the national park boundary from Totton down to the Waterside.

Local Issues

Below are just a few of the local issues important to our community.