WEST Dorset could be reduced in size under proposed changes to parliamentary constituencies in England.

A shakeup is being proposed by the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) in a bid to ensure that the number of electors in each constituency is more equal.

While the majority of Dorset remains unchanged, West Dorset would be affected because the number of constituents is deemed to be too high.

Under the proposals Puddletown, Tolpuddle, Piddletrenthide, Buckland Newton, Sydling St Nicholas and Cheselbourne, and surrounding areas, would move into the North Dorset constituency.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Current boundaries are marked in blue, with the proposed changes in redCurrent boundaries are marked in blue, with the proposed changes in red

Towards the south of the county, Chickerell, currently in West Dorset, would be regrouped into South Dorset, as well as Charlestown and Lanehouse in Weymouth - while nearby Upwey and Broadwey would switch to become part of West Dorset.

The remainder of Dorset is relatively unaffected, however, and the county would maintain its eight constituencies.

Meanwhile, just under 10 per cent of the existing 533 English constituencies remain the same. If adopted, the proposals will mean the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.

Residents can share their views on the proposals, as an eight week consultation is now being held.

A BCE document says: "The existing West Dorset constituency, with an electorate of 81,091, is above the permitted electorate range.

"In our proposed configuration, it would not be possible to include both the Winterborne & Broadmayne, and Chickerell wards in the West Dorset constituency.

"We therefore propose that the Chickerell ward from the existing West Dorset constituency be exchanged for the Upwey & Broadwey ward from the existing South Dorset constituency."

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Tim Bowden, BCE secretary, said: “Today’s proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of Parliamentary constituencies might look like. But they are just the Commission’s initial thoughts.

"Help us draw the line to make the number of electors in each Parliamentary constituency more equal.

"Each constituency we recommend is required by law to contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors, meaning there will be significant change to current boundaries. We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies right.

"We consider all feedback received during the consultation process, and it is your local knowledge that helps us to shape constituencies that best reflect your local area.

"It is easy to get involved - view our proposals and have your say on our online consultation portal - www.bcereviews.org.uk.”