THE boundaries of Tweeddale’s UK parliamentary constituency look set to change as part of a review.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland’s revised proposals would see the number of voters rise to 73,593, moving it to within five per cent of the ‘electoral quota’.

As part of the plans it is proposed that all of the electorate in the council’s Tweeddale East ward move within the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency.

That would mean voters in the village of Clovenfords moving out of neighbouring Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.

Tweeddale East councillor Marshall Douglas, of the SNP, said the plans were a result of ‘gerrymandering’ – manipulating the boundaries to favour one party – by the UK Government.

Speaking at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council, Mr Douglas said: “This is obviously a result of gerrymandering by the UK Government, unfortunately, that is seeking to reduce the MPs in Scotland by two and in Wales by eight, to give an extra 10 to England – so much for our equal union.

“Fortunately there is very little damage done within the Borders, it’s only Clovenfords that is actually moving.”

Conservative MP David Mundell would represent Clovenfords under the plans, instead of fellow Tory John Lamont.

The current constituencies have remained unchanged since 2005 and reviews are required to take account of changes in ‘population size and distribution’.

The Boundary Commission published its revised proposals on November 8, which are open to public consultation until Monday (December 5).

Many residents in Clovenfords feel part of the wider Galashiels community and some claim the move represents a ‘barrier’ to that relationship.

Mr Douglas added: “Whilst it appears on the face of it that it is unifying the whole of Tweeddale East within one council ward, the problem with Clovenfords is that in most senses it looks towards Galashiels and I’ve actually heard from some of my constituents who are concerned that it is another barrier between them and Galashiels, because they feel very much part of the Galashiels wider community. But obviously the consultation is open and it’s up to them to voice that concern, but that is the one issue – it’s the link to Galashiels being broken here.”

Galashiels SNP councillor Fay Sinclair, who lives in Clovenfords, said: “It’s absurd that we will have a common boundary with Gretna but not Gala, which is where we send our children to school, where we do our shopping and where we feel part of the community.”

It is recommended that each constituency contains no fewer than 69,724 electors, and no more than 77,062 – except the protected constituencies of Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar and Orkney & Shetland – according to council papers.

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale sits outside that with an electorate of 68,874.

Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler said: “It really is correcting an anomaly that has existed for some time in that although constituents have the same councillor they have a different MP, so to me it makes perfect sense.”