Raising profile

Thank you for the brief report on Exmouth Town Council’s debate (“Bid to rename constituency” Journal, November 10) in which I spoke. People might like a little more detail about the background to the debate.

Exmouth and other local councils had been asked to respond to a consultation on proposed new parliamentary boundaries. The proposed boundary changes this time are fairly minor, involving the transfer of one district council ward - Exe Valley (Stoke Canon and area) - from Central Devon to East Devon.

No-one on our council had strong views on this, but the new boundaries used for the first time in last year’s General Election were a major change and have thrown up some outstanding issues.

I had two reasons for speaking and moving a resolution.

Firstly, that Exmouth is the largest town in the constituency and, for many years, its population has been almost 40 per cent of the total, so, including the name Exmouth in its title is logical and will give a regular boost to the wider awareness of the town and its importance.

Secondly, there seems no good reason to retain the title East Devon, bearing in mind that Tiverton and Honiton now includes all the easternmost parts of East Devon from Sidmouth and Ottery to the borders with Somerset and Dorset. The area of East Devon District Council is shared between the two constituencies.

The final resolution from our committee was a compromise. My initial suggestions had been either Exmouth, or Exmouth and Sidmouth (the two biggest towns together containing well over half the total population).

Most Read

Some councillors felt they wished to retain East Devon along with Exmouth. Many towns of similar - and much smaller - populations are included in constituency names. The 2010 revision, for instance, brought in Newton Abbot, a town slightly smaller than Exmouth.

Many of our discussions in council centre on how to give the town improved facilities, or raise awareness of its importance. Why, for instance, has Exmouth, as the largest town in Devon, not been included in the Olympic Torch route?

Why are we never featured on the BBC local weather map, which includes many and changing places? Readers will pose many other similar questions. The constituency name is a logical and relatively simple and uncontroversial way of achieving a useful improvement.

Tim Dumper

Councillor Lib Dem, Exmouth Halsdon

22 Woodville Road, Exmouth.