Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:05 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord McAvoy Lord McAvoy Opposition Whip (Lords) 6:05 pm, 9th February 2011

My Lords, in the forlorn hope that, as I have not moved three previous amendments, the House will be a little tolerant of me for a couple of minutes, I would like to spend those two minutes moving an amendment about Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Halfway. I have illustrated the arguments for Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Halfway many times before, so I do not intend to repeat them and abuse the patience of the House.

Those areas have been together now for about 100 years. There are close connections and a bond between the historic Royal Burgh of Rutherglen, the Cambuslang community and the former mining area of Halfway. In 1975, there was an attempt by a previous Conservative Government to destroy the communities by moving them into the City of Glasgow. A more enlightened Tory Minister, Allan Stewart, and I got Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Halfway out again. If one starts from the border with blocks of 75,000 or 76,000 people, as the Bill suggests, Cambuslang and Halfway could end up in the lower part of Scotland and Rutherglen could be in the northern part of Scotland; there would be only one way for Rutherglen to go and that would be with the City of Glasgow, which would mean the end of our parliamentary cohesion.

I hope a Liberal Minister replies because that would certainly make it plain to the people of Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Halfway that it is a Liberal Minister who is rejecting the amendment. I beg to move.