Published: 13:54, 08 June 2021
| Updated: 14:45, 08 June 2021
A shake-up of parliamentary constituencies could see the number of seats in Kent increase from 17 to 18 at the next general election.
The Boundary Commission has proposed an extra seat – the Weald of Kent – could be created after a review of existing boundaries.
It would take some parts of the existing Ashford seat and parts of the current Maidstone and The Weald seat.
The latter, held by Tory Helen Grant MP, would lose some of its rural villages such as Headcorn, Marden and Yalding and be renamed Maidstone and Malling.
The new Weald of Kent seat would have an electorate of 70,362. It would also incorporate Tenterden, Benenden, Cranbrook and Staplehurst.
In other changes, the two seats in Thanet would be tweaked to become East Thanet and West Thanet, replacing North Thanet and South Thanet.
East Thanet would include the towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate and have an electorate of 73,790.
The Commission is required to ensure the number of electors in each constituency is more equal. In doing so, the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543.
Public consultation on the plans for all seats is now underway.
Full details can be seen by clicking here to view maps showing the proposed new boundaries and provide feedback before the consultation closes on August 2. www.bcereviews.org.uk
People can comment on anything from where the proposed new boundary lines are to the names of the constituencies.
There will be a further two rounds of consultation in 2022.
Following the conclusion of all three consultation periods, the Commission will look at all the evidence received before making final recommendations.