Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Newton of Braintree Lord Newton of Braintree Conservative 5:30 pm, 9th February 2011

Briefly, I ask my noble friend why, if this river and estuary are to be written into the law in this way, others should not be? We have already had arguments about the Mersey. I live in Essex and the Thames is at least as substantial a division between Essex and Kent, I suspect, as the Tamar is between Devon and Cornwall. One can think of a number of other rivers including the Severn, which is a big division between the south-west and Wales, so why are we going to pick out only one? The problem with most of these rivers-I am afraid I do not know the West Country well enough to know whether it is thus with the Tamar-is that a dividing factor at the mouth, where that is so big, becomes a uniting factor further inland, where towns straddle the same river: the Thames, the Severn or whatever it might be. It is not rational to build this kind of consideration into this kind of legislation.